Sen. Brown: Regulators must 'do more' to prevent crypto scams

Quick Take

  • Sen. Sherrod Brown, chair of the Senate Banking Committee will “push our regulators to do more” to rein in crypto scams, he pledged during a hearing on Thursday.

  • As crypto lobbying reaches a fever pitch in Washington, Sen. Sherrod Brown sai the “industry shouldn’t be allowed to write the rules they want to play by.”

Sen. Sherrod Brown laid into crypto scammers during a Senate hearing on Thursday, signaling renewed urgency to regulate digital assets after this summer’s crypto market crash. 

“We’ve witnessed spectacular blowups in the crypto markets, exposing both the alarming interconnectedness and the enormous risks among crypto firms,” Brown said. “One collapse after another revealed how quickly supposedly stable investments could fall apart. We saw that unregulated and unlicensed entities could both borrow and lend hundreds of millions of dollars to engage in risky crypto trading.”

Brown, the chair of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, made the comments during a Thursday hearing on crypto scams. The event was titled “Protecting Investors and Savers: Understanding Scams and Risks in Crypto and Securities Markets.” 

The Ohio Democrat suggested regulators should “do more” to write rules for the industry. The hearing came just days after a stablecoin deal between House Financial Services Committee chair Maxine Waters and ranking Republican Rep. Patrick McHenry fell apart. 

“As this Committee and the American people learn more about crypto-based investments, and understand how frauds and scams are growing, we will push our regulators to do more. Of course, that means the SEC. It also means the banking regulators,” Brown said. “Industry shouldn’t be allowed to write the rules they want to play by.”

Brown also honed in on the risk of crypto-related scams in a letter addressed to executives at computing giants Apple and Google. 

The Securities and Exchange Commission grabbed headlines last week when it launched an investigation into Coinbase and named nine crypto tokens as securities. 

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