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SEC Chair Calls on Crypto Companies to Work With SEC on Compliance

SEC wants to regulate crypto as securities. Chairman Gary Gensler issued a strong statement telling companies to comply now.

SEC Says a Majority of Crypto Tokens Are Securities

Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler said in a statement that he has instructed staff to work with cryptocurrency projects to get their tokens registered and regulated. He said that while many are waiting for more guidance on the regulatory status of crypto tokens, the SEC has been very clear about this through various reports and actions.

Gensler said he thinks only a handful of tokens do not qualify as securities. He added that his predecessor Jay Clayton also often spoke about the applicability of the securities laws in the crypto space.

“In general, the investing public is buying or selling crypto security tokens because they’re expecting profits derived from the efforts of others in a common enterprise. Without prejudging any one token, most crypto tokens are investment contracts under the Howey Test,” Gensler said.

Investors deserve to be protected against fraud and manipulation, and to deal with fully legal entities that provide full disclosure, he said. The regulator has been fairly clear in telling crypto companies that they will need to comply with SEC regulatory requirements. The SEC also announced that it is forming a new office for cryptocurrency filings.

On the question of crypto intermediaries like CEXs or DEXs, Gensler said they should be regulated as brokers/dealers. Crypto investors deserve to protected against any fraud and misconduct, Gensler said.

Gensler urged all crypto projects that fall under these categories to work with the SEC on compliance and registration.

“For those who are starting up in this space now — either from traditional finance or as crypto-native companies — work with us on compliance from the beginning. It’s far less costly to do so from the outset,” concluded the SEC Chairman’s statement.

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