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SEC Chair weighs in on disclosure requirements in wake of crypto bankruptcies

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Yahoo Finance's Jennifer Schonberger details SEC Chairman Gary Gensler's outlook on crypto disclosure protections in the wake of crypto lending platforms like Celsius declaring bankruptcy.

Video Transcript

RACHELLE AKUFFO: Welcome back. Celsius becoming the third crypto platform to file for bankruptcy protection in two weeks. And this is the lender that once claimed it was better than a bank. Yahoo Finance's Jennifer Schonberger spoke to SEC Chair Gary Gensler earlier about the agency's role in regulating this unraveling crypto market. Jen.

JENNIFER SCHONBERGER: Good afternoon, Rachelle. With Celsius' bankruptcy costing investors millions in losses, SEC Chair Gary Gensler suggested in an exclusive interview that similar rules that apply to brokerages, traditional brokerages, that is, to protect customers' assets and access to accounts in the event of a brokerage failure could also apply to crypto, though he told me that tailoring the disclosure regime for stocks to crypto might make sense, given that not all of those issuing stocks would be the same for crypto. Take a listen.

GARY GENSLER: There's a difference between maybe asset-backed securities and an equity offering. There may be differences here as well. And so the public benefits, by knowing full and fair disclosure and that somebody's not lying to them-- basic protections. And whether you're buying a crypto token, or you're buying a security, such as equities, or a security such as an asset-backed security-- those basic disclosures, because we in America let investors take risk.

JENNIFER SCHONBERGER: Gensler has repeatedly said that many crypto tokens fall under securities laws, given how they're used. But he told Yahoo Finance that the SEC has the ability to write rules and use exemptive authority. But while the SEC has taken enforcement actions to make crypto firms comply with security laws, the commission has yet to apply or write new rules to protect investors in crypto markets. When asked why the SEC hasn't acted aggressively to write rules to protect investors, Gensler said he rejected the premise telling me, quote, "we have rules in place for what it means to be an investment company like a mutual fund when you put your money in." Gensler also pointed to enforcement actions the commission has taken against crypto firms that violated securities laws, specifically pointing to the $100 million settlement with BlockFi. Guys.