Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler called Bitcoin a commodity while likening other crypto assets to securities.
“Many of these financial assets, crypto financial assets, have the key attributes of a security,” he said to CNBC’s Jim Cramer on Monday.
“Some, like Bitcoin… my predecessors and others have said, they’re a commodity.”
He said these classifications would put some security-like cryptocurrencies under the SEC’s jurisdictions. With Bitcoin considered a commodity, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission would be involved, with Gensler saying “working together, there’s two great market regulators in this country”.
Gensler, the former chair of the CFTC, said market regulators like the SEC and CFTC help protect the public from fraud and manipulation in the markets, calling on full and fair disclosure in crypto. He said crypto entrepreneurs touting tokens would need to comply with these.
“This is a highly speculative asset class, we’ve known this for a long time,” he said. “There’s a lot of risk in crypto. There’s also a lot of risk in the classic securities markets.”
Gensler has been a prominent advocate of greater regulation of crypto and is seeking to work together with the CFTC on this. He called for legal certainty and the same rules for all tokens.
“I’m talking about one rule book on the exchange that protects all trading regardless of the pair – [be it] a security token versus security token, security token versus commodity token, commodity token versus commodity token,” he told the Financial Times on Friday.