Gensler tells Congress that the SEC is 'really out-personed' on crypto

Securities and Exchange Commission chair Gary Gensler told a Congressional subcommittee Wednesday that his agency needs more human resources as it looks to regulate the US crypto space.

“I wish we had more to dedicate to this," he said in response to questioning from Rep. Steve Womack about the SEC's crypto work to date. Congress is weighing a budget request from the SEC, which has sought $240 million for FY 2023 above the previous year's appropriation. Part of that push is related to its work on crypto and the need to hire more in-house experts. 

Gensler highlighted a recently announced move to expand the ranks of a cyberfraud-related unit within its enforcement wing but conceded that its current staff level is insufficient relative to the scope of its work. 


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"We’re really out-personed," he told Womack, ranking Republican member on the Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee.

Gensler later referenced the blow-up of the Terra blockchain ecosystem and its related stablecoin, UST, though not by name. 

“There was one crypto complex that went from like 50 billion dollars of value to near-zero just in the last three weeks. I mean these are highly speculative, volatile, and I dare say, the public is not protected.” Gensler has called for stronger stablecoin regulations, as The Block previously reported. 

Gensler went on to remark with respect to crypto exchange services: “The crypto exchange should come in and register or, frankly, we’re going to continue to bring, use what Congress has given us in our examination and enforcement functions.”