Gary Gensler, nominee for SEC chairman and former head of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, says if confirmed, he will work with other commissioners to ensure crypto concerns are addressed.
“Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have given new impetus to payments and economic integration, but they have also raised new investor protection issues that we still need to address,” said Gensler, a candidate for head of the SEC.
Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency by market value, has seen its market value rise 69% this year to $ 925.2 billion, according to CoinMarketCap.com, as Wall Street and corporate America have more tailored cryptocurrency investments. The global crypto market is $ 1.47 trillion.
If bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies were considered securities, they would fall within the scope of the SEC. Exchanges that facilitate trading in such cryptocurrencies must also have appropriate investor protection in place, he said.
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are currently considered commodities and are regulated by the Commodities Futures Trading Commission.
Since cryptocurrencies are not regulated by the SEC, there is no clarity on how listed companies that have invested in digital assets should treat them in their financial statements. Accounting standards for such investments are becoming increasingly important as a number of public companies have recently begun investing in bitcoin.
MicroStrategy Inc. has led the fee for crypto investment among public companies, which recently amassed a $ 4 billion position in bitcoin that accounts for the vast majority of their cash. Other companies, such as Tesla Inc. and Square Inc., has followed MicroStrategy’s management and distributed less than 10% of its cash to the cryptocurrency.
Gensler not only sees digital currencies as investment funds but believes that they also provide useful technology.
He told Wyoming Sen. Cynthia Lummis, a Republican, says that blockchain technology, which supports bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, has been a “catalyst for change” in the financial world.
He pointed to improvements in payment systems, trade finance and medical technology as areas where blockchain has proven useful. Gensler is currently a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and teaches about blockchain.
“I am neither a maximalist nor a minimalist, but I think it has really been a catalyst for change in many areas,” Gensler said.
Billionaire Mark Cuban has also advocated blockchain to improve the speed of financial markets.