Crypto Markets Require Transparency, Says SEC Chair Gary Gensler

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SEC Chair Gary Gensler speaks on the need for transparency in cryptocurrency markets.
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Introduction

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair Gary Gensler has criticized crypto industry participants for avoiding registration requirements with the regulator. In his closing remarks during a speech at Columbia Law School, Gensler emphasized the importance of mandatory disclosure for market participants, referring to Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis’ statement that “Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants.”

Gensler’s Concerns

Gensler expressed concern over certain participants in the crypto securities markets seeking to evade registration requirements, which results in a lack of mandatory disclosure. He highlighted the need for transparency in the crypto markets, suggesting that some disinfectant measures could benefit the industry.

Legal Battles and Regulatory Push

Over the past year, the SEC has filed numerous lawsuits against crypto firms, with SEC Chair Gary Gensler consistently asserting that most cryptocurrencies should be classified as securities. This includes a civil case against Sam Bankman-Fried, co-founder of FTX, and lawsuits against major players like Binance, its CEO Changpeng Zhao, and Coinbase.

The Call for Regulatory Clarity

Many industry players and advocacy groups have called on the SEC to establish clear regulatory guidelines to foster innovation within the United States. Despite this, the SEC has reportedly issued subpoenas as part of its campaign to potentially classify Ethereum (ETH) as a security under its regulatory purview.

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Progress in Crypto-Related Products

In recent years, the SEC has made progress in approving crypto-related exchange-traded products for U.S. exchanges, including investment vehicles tied to ETH and Bitcoin futures, along with the first spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds in January.

Postponement on Futures ETH ETF Decision

In a separate development, the SEC has once again extended the deadline to decide on the approval of Grayscale’s Ethereum Futures Trust exchange-traded fund (ETF). The decision has been postponed to May 30, as the SEC seeks further public input on the proposed ETF.

Grayscale’s Strategic Moves

Bloomberg ETF analyst James Seyffart suggested that Grayscale might be using its futures ETF application as a strategic move to influence the SEC’s decision on approving its spot Ether ETF. If approved, this could strengthen Grayscale’s argument for the approval of its spot Ether ETF application, showcasing the ongoing dialogue and strategic maneuvering within the crypto regulatory landscape.



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