September 24, 2021

Toomey Presses Gensler for Regulatory Clarity on Cryptocurrencies

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senate Banking Committee Ranking Member Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) is asking Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Gary Gensler to provide public guidance surrounding emerging technologies like cryptocurrencies.

In a letter to Chairman Gensler, Sen. Toomey said:

“For investors to benefit from a fair and competitive marketplace, regulators must proactively provide rules of the road to industry. Unfortunately, the SEC has instead adopted a strategy of regulation-by-enforcement in this area.”

During last week’s Senate Banking Committee hearing, Senator Toomey raised concerns over the SEC’s regulation by enforcement approach to cryptocurrencies.

“At the hearing, you noted the SEC’s success in pursuing crypto-related enforcement actions,” Senator Toomey continued. “In many of these enforcement actions, the SEC did not identify the securities involved or the rationale for their status as securities, which would have provided much-needed public regulatory clarity.  This approach appears related to your belief that ‘the probability is quite remote that . . . any given [cryptocurrency] platform has zero securities.’ However, the SEC has a responsibility to do more than just provide probabilistic estimates.”

Senator Toomey’s concern with the SEC’s lack of regulatory clarity on digital assets is shared by others, including SEC Commissioners Hester Peirce and Elad Roisman. 

The senator concludes by requesting answers to a number of detailed questions to provide Congress, industry and innovators clarity on the SEC’s regulation of cryptocurrencies.

“In an effort to obtain that additional guidance, attached are questions for the record for the recent hearing. Many of them would give industry clarity on developing promising technologies within the confines of existing laws and regulations. Please provide detailed answers so that innovators have the guidance they need to ensure domestic investment and innovation in these technologies.”

To read Senator Toomey’s full list of questions for Chairman Gensler, click here.

To read the letter, click here.