United States senator and crypto skeptic Elizabeth Warren wants the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) to “double down” on its crypto enforcement efforts, highlighting that the cryptocurrency industry is running “scared” for what’s to come next.
Warren’s comments came during an interview with the American Economic Liberties Projects on Jan. 25.
The senator opined that since Gensler was sworn in as SEC chairman in April 2021, the Commission “has made a good start” on fixing some of the problems created by the former SEC leaders under the Trump Administration.
Warren claimed that the previous SEC administration “essentially gave the green light” to open up a cryptocurrency market “full of junk tokens, unregistered securities, rug pulls, Ponzi schemes, pump and dumps, money launderings and sanctions evasions.”
But that’s now being cleaned up under Gensler’s leadership, which has industry leaders scared, according to Warren:
“It appears that the commission is still ramping up. That is why the industry is scared of a strong SEC, and that’s why it is spending millions of dollars each year lobbying to escape SEC oversight.”
The crypto critic also pointed the finger at crypto lending companies, celebrity promoters and inside traders whom she said have misled andeceived retail investors.
But Warren didn’t stop there.
The Massachusetts politician said the SEC needs to “use the full force of its regulatory powers” in order to “reign in the frauds inflicted on American consumers.”
“The SEC should double down and use its tools to enforce the rules, and where the SEC needs more cops on the beat, then Congress needs to step up with the resources and the new authorities that are needed to ensure the SEC can do its work at full strength in every corner of the crypto market.”
The senator also called on U.S. regulators in the banking and environment sectors to impose more accountability measures against some of the bigger players in the cryptocurrency industry.
1:30PM: We'll kick off an event with @RealBankReform and @SenWarren to examine the rise and fall of the crypto industry -- and what it means for policymakers.— American Economic Liberties Project (@econliberties) January 25, 2023
RSVP here. You won't want to miss it.https://t.co/nj8xsJbPur pic.twitter.com/A1saROKeZU
“The commission has been loud and clear that crypto doesn’t get a pass for longstanding security laws that protect investors and ensure the integrity of our financial markets,” she added.
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However, not all U.S. senators appear to have put Gensler’s SEC on the same pedestal.
New York Senator Ritchie Torres asked the U.S. Government Accountability Office on Dec. 6 to conduct an investigation into the SEC’s failure to examine and expose FTX’s alleged fraud months before the cryptocurrency exchange collapsed:
“One cannot have it both ways, asserting authority while avoiding accountability.”
A few days later, on Dec. 10, Minnesota Senator Tom Emmer slammed the SEC and Gensler for his flawed “crypto information-gathering efforts” following FTX’s meltdown, saying that he should have to explain the cost of his “regulatory failures” to Congress.