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Gary Gensler reaffirms that most crypto tokens are securities—Counters Claims of Insufficient Notice for Crypto Exchanges

In a recent statement, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair Gary Gary Gensler reaffirms that most crypto tokens are securities. Gensler’s remarks came in response to claims that the SEC had failed to provide adequate “fair notice” to the industry, particularly with regard to the classification of digital tokens as securities.

Gary Gensler, the Chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), recently spoke at the Piper Sandler Global Exchange & Fintech Conference, where he shared his views on crypto exchanges and digital currencies. Gensler emphasized that the nature of the crypto securities markets does not warrant lesser protections for investors and issuers under existing securities laws. He restated his conviction that the majority of crypto tokens meet the criteria of the investment contract test.

Gensler Rejects Allegations of Insufficient Notice for Exchanges & Token Issuers — ‘Do Not Believe It’

Gary Gensler, the current chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), recently spoke about digital currencies during his appearance at the Piper Sandler Global Exchange & Fintech Conference held in New York. Gensler specifically addressed the claims made by certain promoters of crypto asset securities who argue that the utility of their tokens exempts them from being classified as investment contracts. However, the SEC chair firmly rejects this argument, emphasizing that crypto security issuers must either register their investment contracts with the SEC or fulfill the requirements for an exemption. He said, “ Some additional utility does not remove a crypto asset security from the definition of an investment contract.” 

Gensler’s Response to Alleged Binance Connection and SEC’s Guidance

In the wake of recent court documents that suggest SEC Chair Gensler had expressed interest in advising Binance back in 2019 and had a reported meeting with Binance founder Changpeng Zhao (CZ) in Japan, Gensler addressed the topic of crypto exchanges and alleged crypto securities. During his speech, he emphasized that the SEC has been providing extensive guidance to market participants for years regarding the classification of crypto asset securities. Gensler also highlighted that the SEC’s enforcement actions against LBRY, Telegram, and Kik have contributed to a clearer understanding of the matter.

Gensler informed the audience that recently, the SEC accused Binance’s CFO and CCO of being aware of the significance of the Kik case for their own company. According to the SEC’s allegations against Binance, the insiders at the company became aware that they would have to make preparations, including building up resources, for a subpoena and Wells notices related to their exchange token, BNB, as a result of the SEC’s action against Kik.

Gensler Emphasizes SEC’s Persistent Stance on the Registration Requirement for Lending

In response to criticisms and claims of insufficient notice on Twitter, Gensler expressed his belief in the existence of flexible rules for disclosures in registration statements. He urged people not to give credence to such claims. Furthermore, in the aftermath of regulatory actions taken against Binance and Coinbase, Gensler shared in an interview with CNBC earlier this week that there is no need for numerous digital currencies. He conveyed to the show host that digital currencies already exist in the form of the U.S. dollar, the euro, and the yen, emphasizing their digital nature.

In reference to staking-as-a-service and the regulatory actions taken against Coinbase, Gensler emphasized that the SEC had already given prior notice by cracking down on Bitconnect and Blockfi. Gensler asserts that the SEC has consistently alleged that these lending and staking-as-a-service offerings must be registered and provide proper disclosures to protect the investing public.

As SEC Chair Gary Gensler reaffirms that most crypto tokens are securities it shows the agency’s commitment to regulating the crypto industry. Gensler asserts that the majority of tokens should be classified as securities, emphasizing the need for investor protection and compliance with securities laws. He dismisses claims of insufficient notice and highlights the SEC’s enforcement actions as precedents. Gensler’s remarks indicate a determined approach to stricter oversight, which aims to strike a balance between innovation and safeguarding investor interests in the evolving crypto market.

Also Read: Gary Gensler accused of being incompetent for regulatory crackdown on Coinbase.