In a bid to ramp up crypto regulations, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair Gary Gensler has requested lawmakers of the country to allocate a staggering $2.4 billion in funding for the regulator, emphasizing the need to curb “misconduct” in the industry.
According to an offical document, Gensler appeared before the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Service and General Government on March 29 to seek the funding as a budget request for the 2024 fiscal year.
He requested the Joe Biden administration for the record funding to increase his agency’s staff count highlighting the need to push forward stringent crypto regulations citing “the Wild West of the crypto markets is rife with noncompliance.“
Additional Funding to Intensify Crackdown
Gensler further noted the SEC aims to combat this problem by increasing the division’s staffing and obtaining new “tools, expertise, and resources.” The SEC Chair said the additional funding would allow the American regulatory agency to hire 170 additional staff, most of whom would work within its enforcement and examination divisions. He added,
“Rapid technological innovation in the financial markets has led to misconductin emerging and new areas, not least in the crypto space. The additional staff will provide the Division with more capacity to meet these challenges, investigate misconduct on a larger scale, and accelerate the pace of enforcement investigations to resolution.”
The SEC has intensified its war against crypto following the FTX implosion which triggered a series of failures of several high-profile crypto companies. In the aftermath, the regulator has come down heavily on the digital asset sector with Gensler noting the rapid proliferation of cryptocurrency outfits resemble the “Wild West”.
Barrage of Charges
In February, the regulatory agency put forward new rules to make it more difficult for cryptocurrency firms to serve as digital asset custodians in the future and require companies to gain or maintain registration in order to hold customer assets. On March 29, the SEC charged the crypto asset trading platform Beaxy and its executives for failing to register as a national securities exchange, broker, and clearing agency.
Today we charged the crypto asset trading platform https://t.co/ykFkM2s0wY and its executives for failing to register as a national securities exchange, broker, and clearing agency, and we charged market makers operating on the Beaxy Platform as unregistered dealers.
— U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (@SECGov) March 29, 2023
Meanwhile, on March 22, the agency ordered a jury trial for crypto exchange Tron founder, Justin Sun for unlawful promotion of crypto asset securities and conducting manipulative trading. On the same day, Coinbase, received a Wells Notice from the SEC over some of its digital asset products and services such as spot market staking service, Earn, Prime and Coinbase Wallet.
Earlier this year, the SEC decided to shut down crypto exchange Kraken’s staking program forcing the global exchange to pay a fine of $30 million in penalties. The SEC was also reportedly planning to sue stablecoin issuer, Paxos Trust Company, over violating investor protection laws in its issue of the Binance USD (BUSD) stablecoin.