In the midst of the cryptocurrency industry expansion, the activities of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) towards the sector have received criticism, with some U.S. politicians referring to them as unacceptable.
Specifically, during the discussion at the House Committee on Financial Services, Minnesota Senator Tom Emmer interviewed the SEC Director of Enforcement Gurbir Grewal who has admitted that his agency’s crackdown actions included crypto companies that are outside its jurisdiction.
Senator’s scathing criticism
In the video of the discussion, posted by Emmer on July 19, the Senator had some harsh words for the SEC’s “absolutely unacceptable” practices like “not regulating in good faith”, “politicization of regulation over the last 14 months,” as well as the “industry sweeps” in relation to the digital asset sector over which, in Emmer’s words, the agency had no enforcement over.
As he stressed:
“Under Chair Gensler, the SEC has become a power-hungry regulator, politicizing enforcement, baiting companies to ‘come in and talk’ to the Commission, then hitting them with enforcement actions, discouraging good-faith cooperation.”
Is the SEC bullying crypto companies?
Meanwhile, back in May, SEC Chairman Gary Gensler warned the public that some crypto exchanges may be betting against their own clients and that all entities trading crypto fell under the SEC’s scope and, therefore, were required to register with it.
Furthermore, in mid-June, Gensler used the crypto market slump at the time as an argument for stressing the “urgency” of the need to better regulate the industry, claiming the urgency was “about investor protection.”
On top of that, the SEC has been fighting a high-profile legal battle against Ripple since December 2020, which has so far cost the blockchain company “over $100 million on legal fees,” as its CEO Brad Garlinghouse said recently, accusing the SEC for “bullying companies into settlement.”
In the lawsuit, the regulator has alleged that Ripple sold over $1.3 billion in unregistered XRP tokens between 2013 and December 2020. If the company wins the case, the SEC would be forced to provide more transparent guidelines for the crypto industry. On the other hand, losing would likely encourage the SEC to proceed with the crypto crackdown.