SEC chairman compares stablecoins to “Poker Chips”
During a recent interview with Washington Post columnist David Ignatius, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chairman Gary Gensler compared stablecoins to poker chips.
“Stablecoins are acting almost like poker chips in a casino now,” he said.
In addition, Gensler reiterated that fiat currency-linked cryptocurrencies may have some attributes of investment contracts. He also said the security rules give the agency “great authority” over cryptocurrencies.
Speaking about the crypto market in general, Gensler described cryptocurrencies as “a highly speculative asset class”. According to him, in many cases, “there is nothing behind this. Except what someone else will pay for it.”
At the same time, he stated that new technologies, which pose a threat to the system, are “a good thing”.
He praised cryptocurrencies in general, and Bitcoin in particular, for being “a catalyst for change” and challenging central banks and traditional financial institutions.
But he added that it is important for cryptocurrency innovation not to “harm the stability of the system”:
“I think it’s better to bring them into the public policy framework and ensure that we meet these important public policy objectives,” he said.
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On the bond issue, Gensler said the SEC has “great authority” when it comes to tokens.
“It is highly likely that [the lending platforms] have thousands of tokens. And it is highly likely that they have on these platforms, investment contracts in bonds or notes or others that meet the definition of a security.”
The head of the regulator also advocated cooperation with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. However, he noted that very few cryptocurrencies can be classified as commodities:
“Some of these tokens, few of them, have more commodity attributes,” he said.