US will not ban cryptocurrencies, SEC chief says

Government’s focus is to ensure industry follows investor and consumer protection rules, Gary Gensler says

The US Securities and Exchange Commission chairman Gary Gensler has had numerous dust-ups with cryptocurrency companies but even he says the US won’t follow China’s lead in banning digital tokens.

Mr Gensler said on Tuesday that the government’s focus is on ensuring that the industry follows investor and consumer protection rules, anti-money laundering regulations and tax laws.

He made the comments at a House hearing after a Republican politician asked whether a China-like prohibition was on the table in the US.

“Our approach is really quite different,” Mr Gensler said. Any ban would probably have to be legislated by Congress, he said.

China issued its ultimatum against cryptocurrency trading last month, saying all transactions were off limits and that it would move aggressively to root out token mining. The announcement followed months of escalating Chinese warnings about virtual currencies.

Mr Gensler’s remarks mirror those of Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell, who said during a September 30 congressional hearing that he had “no intention” of banning cryptocurrencies.

Updated: October 6th 2021, 5:18 AM