SEC's Gensler: 'A lot of people will get hurt' if crypto remains outside of policy framework
Chair ginsburg, as a former treasury under uh secretary and assistant secretary folkerson, on financial markets, as well as the former chair of the cftc and as chair of the sec, you are uniquely positioned to describe what will likely happen if treasury is blocked by republicans from paying Its bills, can you describe what you expect would happen in our markets, both in the coming days and if treasury does default? In particular, i would like to know what would likely happen to peoples, retirement investments and to americas businesses trying to raise capital and create jobs. So were were motivated by our three part mission and the core in the middle is efficient, competitive markets. So ive asked: if how can we help uh ensure even enhancing that efficiency? So right now uh, as you mentioned, about commission or zero commission, zero commission does not mean its free, it does have some cost inside some brokers have payment for order flow. I would note some do not and also offer zero capacity pennies. I think youre right. I think, and i think if we dont get our uh these exchanges, these lending platforms inside of the public policy framework, a lot of people are going to be hurt. Its a highly speculative uh idea that a token that may not have any ownership theyre all structured differently and its trading in the marketplace on the on the efforts of others uh the the potential that in the future, it might be worth something because others will pay For it highly speculative uh and its not inside of our uh theyre, not registering yet uh.
Yes, i think its central. I think its the issue of our day that that digital analytics are being used to not only optimize for our returns but may be used to optimize for the company, the platforms, revenues and, if theyre being done that way in a robo advisor, an investment advisor or A brokerage then that that creates a conflict. It might create a more fun environment for us. Well, thats, okay, but is it also creating more revenues and what is that conflict there and how do we protect investors? Okay, i thank you for that and retail investing has increased its increased, probably for multiple reasons: uh, but zero, commission and and and frankly, just even the facility. The ability to you know trade on a mobile phone with ease uh has facilitated it as well, regardless of the price. There are a number of brokers that offer zero commission and do not do payment for it flow the. Why im focused on the platforms, the trading platforms and the lending platforms is because investors basically are giving ownership rights up. They transfer whats called a private key to the platform in most of them. Uh and the platforms take custody and those platforms then uh either trade uh on on our behalf or lend to us and the like, and so i think such a tremendous amount of activity happens there and its its a place that we could get better investor protection. Customer protection alike.
Um. I thank you for the question i do want to say if representative hill would like to meet with me, uh one on one or anything next week or the next few days ill be glad to do that. Representative hasing. I thank you because i was hearing that three that echo as well, but on your substantive point, uh uh, congressman foster. I think that um as we get close to october 18th, the secretary yellen has put out. We need to understand that markets can get pretty uh. They can do things that we dont expect that that, as as mutual funds as big banks as hedge funds, as capital market participants, start to anticipate. What will congress do? What congress not do? We will be in uncertain times in those last several days, um im familiar with a number of the things that you mentioned in terms of the peoples republic of china. I think our uh approach is is really quite different and its a matter of how do we get this field within the investor and consumer protection that we have, and also working with bank regulators and and others uh? How do we ensure that the treasury department has it within any money laundering, the tax compliance and, of course, the financial stability issues that stable coins could raise as well? No, i i mean i that would be up to congress. I mean what we what were really working with with uh the authorities youve given us and ive said this.
I think that that many of these tokens uh uh its based on the facts and circumstances, but many of these tokens do meet the tests of uh being an investment contract or a note, or some other form of of security, that we bring them within the investor Protection remit of the sec look. We we have around the globe 180 fiat currencies, meaning 180 different countries have, but each country has one. We have the us dollar and it happens to be the leading currency around the globe. Its unlikely that five or six thousand forms of private forms of currency are going to persist it it. Just economic history, tells us thats unlikely. The handful that might be competing with gold or silver as a digital. Speculative store of value as gold is a speculative store of value over the centuries um, but but not many of them, but most of them are investment vehicles. So i would say this: we already have oops the gavel is coming down. Is it a systemic risk? Yes or no, i think the 125 billion dollars of stable coins we have right now are like the poker chips at a casino and i think they create risk in the system that we have digital lending, crypto lending, crypto trading, that yes, i do think that if This continues to grow and its growed about 10 fold in the last year, as we get closer to that, i think we will start to see fraying in the marketplace and uh theres great uncertainties if we actually defaulted on our debt to terrific uncertainties because treasuries are The base upon which the rest of our capital markets stand its like its saying lets, see lets test the foundation of a house and lets make sure the foundation of the house defaults.
The rest of the house is going to have problems bitcoin, which was the first uh cryptocurrency uh uh, based upon satoshi nakamotos paper in the middle of the economic crisis in 2008, is a highly speculative uh asset, but it is a store of value that people wish To invest in as some would invest in gold since antiquity um, but i think youre also right that it is use not just bitcoin but other cryptocurrencies stable coins to try to. As you said, arbitrage between regulatory regimes, even poker chips in a regulated environment, are a good thing. They, they poker chips at a casino, do serve a purpose to provides greater transparency at the at the gaming table and they even uh lower the security risk about money. Being stolen at the casino, so i just want to caution its just im saying how its economically being used. I think the the working with uh, our colleagues across the presidents working group were going to come up with some recommendations.