Despite the staunch criticism of its anti-crypto approach, United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) plans to continue its endeavour. In a recent request to the lawmakers, the agency intends on seeking additional funds to fuel its ambitions of cracking down on the crypto sector.
In his latest appearance before a subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Gensler reiterated his antagonistic beliefs about the crypto sector. Gary Gensler, chairman of the SEC, called crypto markets “the Wild West” while requesting for funds to regulate the sector. Reportedly, Gensler asked senators for an additional $109 million for his agency’s enforcement budget.
Now, if the requested amount is granted, sources reveal that it would take the total of the SEC’s enforcement budget up to $1.4 billion.
The SEC brought more than 750 enforcement actions across the markets under its jurisdiction in the 2022 federal fiscal year, which runs from October to the end of September. That was a nine percent uptick from the same period of time the year before, and the actions resulted in $6.4 billion in fines and disgorgements. As reported by Todayq News, among these a record number of enforcement actions was against the crypto entities.
While testifying to the senators, Gensler focused on the need to upscale considering the increasing advancements in the sector including the crypto sector. His opening statements were as follows:
Meanwhile, rapid technological innovation in the financial markets has led to misconduct in emerging and new areas, not least in the crypto space. Addressing this requires new tools, expertise, and resources.
However, the $109 million isn’t the only amount requested by the SEC chair. Notably, Gensler is also asking for $393 million from Congress for technological costs. That includes data analysis and cybersecurity, in addition to other needs. In his speech to the senators, Gensler stated:
To put these figures in context, this spending is dwarfed by what some of the biggest market participants spend in a month on technology.
Thus, in total, the SEC chair wants to bring the agency’s funding across all divisions up to $5.1 billion from $4.7 billion this federal fiscal year. This marks an intended jump of straight $400 – $500 million in the annual budget.
In the past weeks, the SEC has been on an enforcement spree and targeted major names. It is worth nothing that despite all the criticism, Gensler has no regrets of his actions and rather intends to continue doing so with a stronger effect.
Among the lawmakers’ lobby, Democrats and Republicans have been primarily divided on their approaches to SEC. While Democrats have been largely supportive of Gensler and the agency, recent actions have been contrary. In recent letters to lawmakers as well as the SEC chief, Congressman Ritchie Torres (Democrat, New York), has repeatedly called out the agency for their confusing and haphazard approach to crypto regulation.