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The chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Gary Gensler, has expressed his disappointment with a judge’s recent ruling in the regulator’s ongoing case against Ripple.
Following last week’s ruling that programmatic sales of XRP to public buyers did not constitute the sale of unregistered securities, Gensler said that he was “disappointed” with Federal district judge Analisa Torres’ decision. He added that the commission is, “looking at it and assessing that option,” raising the possibility of a legal appeal to challenge the ruling.
In his first remarks on the case since the ruling, Gensler told the audience at the National Press Club that he was “pleased” that the judge found that institutional sales of XRP constituted unregistered securities sales.
Gensler also reaffirmed his position on the crypto market during his speech, stating that the SEC has often communicated its stance through enforcement actions.
On July 13, the SEC faced a setback in its court case against Ripple Labs as the federal judge ruled that the XRP token "is not necessarily a security on its face.”
Gensler on crypto regulation through enforcement
The SEC chair addressed concerns from the public regarding the SEC's recent crackdown on the crypto market and why the commission was prioritizing enforcement actions over rulemaking.
Gensler replied saying “that is something we do,” adding that they have “spoken through enforcement actions” regularly since 1960 on matters such as insider trading.
He added that, “We bring over 700 enforcement actions a year because Congress has put us here to protect you, the investors, and be a cop on the beat.”
Gensler compared the crypto markets with stock trading in the 1920s before the passing of securities laws, saying that crypto is “rife with fraud and abuse.”
The SEC chair also said that, “We’re going to continue trying to bring firms that may not be into compliance, into compliance, without prejudging any one of them.” This includes firms responsible for developing cryptocurrencies and the exchanges that trade in them.
Gensler added that both crypto and artificial intelligence are promising technologies that need regulatory oversight for investor protection, noting that the crypto market needs it more than the AI field.
He declined to comment on the recent wave of Bitcoin ETF applications and the chances of their approval.