U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren has written to Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler enquiring about the SEC’s authority to regulate cryptocurrencies and asking what future congressional regulatory action is needed, according to a Reuters report.

Fast facts

  • Requesting a reply by July 28, Warren, who heads the Senate Banking Committee’s Subcommittee on Economic Policy, also warned of the risks posed by cryptocurrencies to consumers and markets on Thursday, calling the crypto market “highly opaque and volatile.”
  • Warren said in a statement: “While demand for cryptocurrencies and the use of cryptocurrency exchanges have skyrocketed, the lack of common-sense regulations has left ordinary investors at the mercy of manipulators and fraudsters … These regulatory gaps endanger consumers and investors and undermine the safety of our financial markets. The SEC must use its full authority to address these risks, and Congress must also step up to close these regulatory gaps.”
  • Senator Pat Toomey, caused controversy as it was revealed he had invested in Grayscale Bitcoin and Ethereum Trusts after only last month taking issue with proposed Financial Crimes Enforcement Network rules to monitor crypto transactions. Toomey had written to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen last month to say the rules would adversely affect Americans’ “fundamental privacy.”
  • The disclosure was made under the requirements of the 2012 STOCK Act, which mandates that all members of Congress publicly disclose stock and securities trades with 45 days. Under the act, Representative Barry Moore disclosed purchasing Doge this week, perhaps making him the first representative to acknowledge buying the token.
  • Elsewhere in the U.S., Bank of America announced yesterday that it had created a new team dedicated to researching cryptocurrencies and related technologies, according to a report by Bloomberg. Candace Browning, head of global research at the bank, said in a memo cited in the report: “Cryptocurrencies and digital assets constitute one of the fastest-growing emerging technology ecosystems.”