- Sen. Elizabeth Warren urged regulators to speed up when it comes to policing crypto.
- “This is about putting some basic rules in place,” she told Bloomberg. “Right now, we don’t have any cops on the beat to speak of.”
- She did say crypto increase access to financial services for people who are underbanked.
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Sen. Elizabeth Warren urged regulators and her colleagues in Congress to speed up efforts to police the rapidly evolving cryptocurrency space amid the boom in digital assets this year.
“This is about putting some basic rules in place so that anyone can trade with just some basic confidence,” the senator told Bloomberg TV Wednesday. “Right now, we don’t have any cops on the beat to speak of.”
Warren pointed to small-time individual investors getting cheated or losing money thanks to pump and dump schemes, which are illegal in the stock market.
“I think it’s important for Congress to do its job,” Warren told Bloomberg. “But in the meantime, I think it’s important for each of our regulators to step up and take hold of the piece that’s within their jurisdiction.”
Warren mentioned the ongoing efforts of the Securities and Exchange Commission in attempting to regulate the space, but alluded the agency cannot do it alone.
On Wednesday, Gensler said many crypto assets should be considered securities.
The lack of clarity around crypto has allowed the industry to operate with little clear oversight, governed by a patchwork of regulation. Bitcoin, for example, is considered a commodity under the Commodity Exchange Act, but for the thousands of other crypto coins, their designation is unclear.
The senator highlighted the risk if regulators don’t increase oversight of cryptocurrencies.
“The bigger it gets and the more it stays outside the financial system,” Warren told Bloomberg. “I don’t want the US taxpayer to be the one that gets called on to back this up.”
Warren nodded to the potential democratizing power of cryptocurrencies, particularly the idea that they might better serve individuals who are currently underbanked or don’t have access to traditional banking services.