Despite SEC Chair Gary Gensler’s recent pronouncements that exchange regulation will help consumers and that the agency should be ready to prosecute crypto cases. On Friday, the CFTC released its regulatory agenda for the spring and summer, and crypto was not included.
Instead, the agency is working on rules for SPACs (special purpose acquisition companies), short sales, money market reforms, gamification of trading platforms like Robinhood, and a variety of other issues. Prerule, proposed rule, and final rule are the three steps of the SEC’s agenda.
Furthermore, SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce’s proposed “safe harbor” for crypto ventures could appear during an exempt offering pre-rule process. That’s because, under her plan, projects containing tokens that may be classified as securities—i.e., tradeable investment contracts—would be granted a “time-limited exemption” from reporting with the SEC.
In May, Gensler testified before the House Financial Services Committee about how bitcoin exchanges may be regulated to safeguard investors. He did say, though, that it would have to be led by Congress since crypto is neither fish nor fowl. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) does not consider Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to be securities.”Right now, there’s not a market regulator around these crypto exchanges and thus there’s no protection around fraud or manipulation,” Gensler explained.
That isn’t to say the SEC isn’t keeping an eye on the industry. It just cautioned that Bitcoin futures are a “very speculative investment” on Thursday. According to a May analysis from Cornerstone Research, the government has fined cryptocurrency companies over $1.7 billion. Over two-thirds of the agency’s crypto-related claims dealt with potential unregistered securities offerings, such as Telegram’s proposed TON token and Block. one’s EOS token sale.