Many hoped that the crypto industry would somehow feature in the regulatory agenda, especially now that cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin have gone fully global and achieved acceptance in numerous economic sectors.
Interesting Shift Of Focus
Instead, SEC plans to focus on regulating short-selling events, something that may be attributed to last year’s craze that affected GameStop and AMC Theatres. This apparent lack of focus on the crypto industry is interesting in that the SEC Chairman himself has been actively advocating for Bitcoin and crypto regulation.
Gary Gensler, who is SEC’s new Chairman, was recently quoted as saying that cryptos are a volatile asset class and that the public needs protection in the way of regulation of exchanges.
While Gensler agreed that some cryptos that are deemed securities fall under its umbrella, others like Bitcoin don’t. However, the fact that they’re trading on publicly accessible crypto exchanges means that the public needs protection. This protection is not currently in force.
Little Action By Congress
The SEC chairman has been at the forefront in pushing Congress to adopt regulatory policies for the crypto industry, but it seems that these efforts haven’t borne fruit. Gensler has been on this offensive since May. Instead, the drastic type of attention coming from some members of Congress and Senate doesn’t seem to favor regulation.
Just recently, Senator Elizabeth Warren expressed her concerns about the environmental impact of cryptocurrencies, calling for a limitation on bitcoin mining. This contravenes Gensler’s efforts to regulate the industry to protect investors rather than ban the cryptos entirely.
The 2021 Agenda
While the SEC’s 2021 focus doesn’t touch on cryptos, it will give some attention to climate risks related to various industries, the development of the global market, and closer monitoring of the stock market to prevent harmful short-selling acquisitions.