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SEC chair says crypto events underscore industry risks


(Reuters) — The turmoil in the cryptocurrency industry of the last few days underscores the inherent risks as intermediaries handle so many core functions, Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler said Wednesday.

Mr. Gensler used the events of the last few days — centered on concerns over the financial health of major cryptocurrency exchange FTX — to emphasize the risks of a crypto industry that has been operating outside of traditional financial markets’ oversight.

“I've been saying this for well over a year now in this job: Come in, get registered, come within the securities laws," Mr. Gensler said during a Healthy Markets Association event.

He noted risks from the “commingling” of key intermediary functions in the cryptocurrency world, in which the same companies serve multiple roles, such as exchanges and market makers.

Cryptocurrencies have historically fallen into regulatory gray areas. The SEC, which is investigating FTX's handling of client funds, has ratcheted up scrutiny of the crypto industry under Democratic leadership.