(Kitco News) – The Securities and Exchange Commission sought to strengthen its stance on cryptocurrency regulation on Friday by sending Gurbir Grewal, the agency’s director of enforcement, to deliver the following message to cryptocurrency investors – “We don’t give crypto passes.”
Grewal made the comment when say at a forum hosted by the Practicing Law Institute, a non-profit legal education institution, and emphasized that the financial regulator intends to continue investigating crypto companies despite the SEC’s reputation for “picking winners and losers” and “stifling innovation” in the crypto asset space.
The director of enforcement directly addressed those who feel that the agency should give crypto “a pass from the application of established regulations and precedents,” stressing that the SEC has been given the important task of remaining neutral and applying the same regulatory practices regardless. industry.
“If we do not investigate and bring appropriate cases, as we have to criticize or difficult questions, we will act with fear and pleasure. We have been given a difficult, but important task: to apply laws and regulations fairly in book for the benefit of our investors and markets,” Grewal said. “Non-enforcement of the most basic rules underlying our regulatory structure would be a betrayal of trust and not an option for us.”
Moving forward, Grewal indicated that the SEC will not be hindered in its mission to regulate the cryptocurrency industry or other industries where regulation is needed to protect investors in the market.
“We will continue to act regardless of what label is used or what technology is involved (or not). Failure to do so will be an abdication of our responsibility, and abandon investors who have been harmed in the market, including by being denied important disclosures and protections.
Grewal’s comments were followed by comments from SEC Commissioner Mark Uyeda, who took the stage after a panel on SEC enforcement to address the idea of ”regulation by enforcement,” which Uyeda argued was shorter than the SEC’s rulemaking process.
“Taken to the extreme, everything everywhere is securities fraud,” Uyeda said. “The Commission must not publish new interpretations through enforcement actions.”
This comment came a day after SEC chairman Gary Gensler spoke at the same conference and suggested that he supports the idea of Congress giving more power to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to regulate cryptocurrencies, specifically Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH), “as long as it does not remove the power of the SEC” or “does not intentionally undermine the securities laws.”
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