The SEC’s crackdown on the crypto industry faces congressional scrutiny as SEC Chairman Gary Gensler is called to testify on April 18. Crypto-friendly committee leaders aim to increase oversight and clarify the SEC’s approach to digital assets.
The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been cracking down on the crypto industry, exemplified by the recent “Operation Choke Point 2.0.” The SEC’s recent actions include sending a Well Notice to Coinbase and suing crypto mogul Justin Sun over fraud and securities law violations. Amidst these aggressive moves, the US Congress’ oversight has been conspicuously absent—until now.
SEC Chairman Called to Testify: Gary Gensler Faces the Music
In a game-changing move, Patrick McHenry, chairman of the Financial Services Committee, has announced that SEC Chairman Gary Gensler will testify before the committee on April 18. Gensler will be required to justify his actions against the crypto industry and explain the SEC’s approach to digital assets.
Crypto-Friendly Committee Leadership: A New Era for Digital Assets
The House Committee on Financial Services, responsible for overseeing the financial services industry, including crypto assets, is led by Republican Patrick McHenry from North Carolina. In January 2023, McHenry established the Digital Assets Subcommittee, chaired by Representative French Hill and deputy chaired by Representative Warren Davidson, both known for their supportive stances on crypto.
“Fire Gary” Movement and Increased Oversight: Gensler’s Future Uncertain
Representative Davidson, one of Gensler’s biggest critics, recently called for a bipartisan “Fire Gary” movement on Twitter. Committee Chairman McHenry aims to make SEC oversight a critical part of his chairmanship, vowing to provide Gensler with more congressional scrutiny than ever before. The upcoming hearing is intended to clarify Gensler’s rulemaking and approach to crypto assets.
Crypto Regulation in the Spotlight: More Hearings to Come
McHenry revealed his intent to focus on crypto asset regulation in the coming months, promising more regulatory hearings throughout the summer. The law firm Cooper & Kirk, which successfully sued banking regulators over the original Operation Choke Point 1.0 in 2014, recently published an analysis highlighting the unlawful threats and pressure tactics used against the crypto industry in 2023, similar to those employed in 2014. Meanwhile, Bitcoin’s price has surged above $28,000, reflecting the crypto community’s resilience.