When we think about the ongoing legal battle between the SEC and Ripple, the two parties have gone back and forth on why XRP is a security and not (according to Ripple Labs). This doesn’t seem to a clear-cut ‘Black-or-white’ case; however what is evident is the urgent need for crypto regulations, something that has been echoed continuously by SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce. Newly appointed Chair of SEC Gary Gensler in a recent interview spoke about crypto regulations as well.
In conversation with the CNBC Squawk Box, he said
“I think to the extent something is security the SEC has a lot of authority and a lot of crypto tokens — I won’t call them cryptocurrencies for this moment — are indeed securities. The prior Chair indicated that. The prior SEC brought numerous enforcement actions to sort of bring some of those security or investment contract tokens into the rules, but there are some like Bitcoin.
This can signal one possible interpretation – it’s not just XRP being called out as a security, rather a whole bunch of ‘crypto tokens’ that are deemed securities.
Ripple CEO, Brad Garlinghouse on different occasions, has called out SEC for its lack of clarity. His fight with the American regulatory watchdogs still continues. He had stated in a recent interview, “SEC has said XRP is a security. And so we’re now engaged in a court discussion. So far, I feel good about how that’s been going, but it’s certainly frustrating.”
Gensler then addressed the Bitcoin and crypto markets, in general. he added:
“If I can just focus on that — and that’s about half of this two trillion dollar asset class right now — it’s a digital scarce store of value, but highly volatile, and there are investors that want to trade that and trade that for its volatility, in some cases just for its lower correlation with other markets.”
Gensler further commented on the need for investor protection. He said:
“So if an investor wants to trade on that Bitcoin, understanding it’s highly volatile, highly speculative, but if they want to trade on that, we haven’t placed some investor protection, and that’s what I was saying. I think there is a gap in our system right now.“