- SEC Chair Gary Gensler took a swing Tuesday at cryptocurrency and other digital tokens, implying that they're essentially unnecessary.
- "We already have digital currency. It's called the U.S. dollar. It's called the euro or it's called the yen; they're all digital right now," Gensler told CNBC.
Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler took a swing Tuesday at cryptocurrency and other digital tokens, implying they're essentially unnecessary in today's world.
"Look, we don't need more digital currency," Gensler said during an appearance on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street." "We already have digital currency. It's called the U.S. dollar. It's called the euro or it's called the yen; they're all digital right now. We already have digital investments."
The remarks come as the commission has taken aggressive action against some of the leading exchanges where bitcoin and its peers are traded.
On Tuesday, the SEC sued Coinbase, charging the company was acting as both an unregistered broker and an exchange.
The day before, the commission went after Binance, alleging the world's largest crypto exchange was commingling billions of dollars in user funds and funneling them to a European company controlled by founder Changpeng Zhao.
"These trading platforms, they call themselves exchanges, are commingling a number of functions," Gensler said. "In traditional finance, we don't see the New York Stock Exchange also operating a hedge fund making markets."
Crypto prices were fairly stable following Gensler's remarks, but shares of Coinbase were off 17%.
Gensler noted the delays in getting cases filed against the crypto platforms, saying "it takes time to do things by the book." But he said investors should be confident the SEC is attentive to risks in the digital currency world.
"The investing public has the benefit of U.S. securities laws. Crypto should be no different, and these platforms, these intermediaries need to come into compliance," he said.