During a March 29 hearing of the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee, Gensler discussed the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) budget request for additional staff in fiscal year 2024.
In some of the issues Gensler discussed, he specifically mentioned cryptocurrency as a reason to justify staffing. He said the SEC has seen a “wild west of the crypto market, full of non-compliance,” and said his agency must grow with the industry.
Gensler emphasized that the SEC’s enforcement arm must address innovations in encryption and other areas that lead to misconduct. The SEC hopes to address the problem by increasing the number of specialized divisions and acquiring new “tools, expertise and resources,” he said.
The SEC chairman also said he plans to expand the audit division, which helps ensure companies comply with regulations. The growth will help the agency address risks surrounding cryptocurrencies, cybersecurity and the “resilience of critical market infrastructure,” Gensler said.
Overall, Gensler wants to give the SEC more resources to grow its headcount from 4,685 to 5,139. This does not necessarily represent the actual number of SEC employees, but rather the number of full-time employees.
The SEC is actively regulating cryptocurrencies
Gensler has recently become known for his aggressive management stances. While the SEC has taken action against fraudulent projects, the regulator has also targeted highly regarded crypto firms like Coinbase and Kraken under Gensler.
The SEC is also trying to expand rules around cryptocurrency custody and staking. Several of Gensler’s statements also suggest that, with the exception of bitcoin, most cryptocurrencies could be considered securities.
- CFTC Announces Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin Commodities, Stands Against SEC
- SEC Gives Reason to Be Cautious When Investing in Crypto Asset Securities
According to Cryptoslate