In yesterday's speech SEC Chair Gensler commented that “Joseph Kennedy, the first Chairman of the SEC, had a saying: 'No honest business need fear the SEC,'" Here's the full text of that speech entitled "Kennedy and Crypto". Gensler's Speech Gensler commented that "That oversight should not change just because the issuance and trading of certain securities is based on a new technology." And that "The investing public benefits when they receive disclosures and related protections about a project’s prospects and business. The investing public benefits when intermediaries are registered and overseen."
On the subject of Crypto tokens, Gensler said: "Of the nearly 10,000 tokens in the crypto market, I believe the vast majority are securities. Offers and sales of these thousands of crypto security tokens are covered under the securities laws." "Some tokens may not meet the definition of a security — what I’ll call crypto non-security tokens. These likely represent only a small number of tokens, even though they may represent a significant portion of the crypto market’s aggregate value."
On the subject of intermediaries, Gensler opined that: "Given that many crypto tokens are securities, it follows that many crypto intermediaries are transacting in securities and have to register with the SEC in some capacity." "Crypto intermediaries — whether they call themselves centralized or decentralized (e.g., DeFi) — often are an amalgam of services that typically are separated from each other in the rest of the securities markets: exchange functions, broker-dealer functions, custodial and clearing functions, and lending functions ... If that sounds legalistic, that’s because it is — these are the regulatory criteria for being an exchange.
In conclusion, Gensler commented that he looks "forward to working with crypto projects and intermediaries looking to come into compliance with the laws." I also look forward to working with Congress on various legislative initiatives while maintaining the robust authorities we currently have." "Let’s ensure that we don’t inadvertently undermine securities laws underlying $100 trillion capital markets. The securities laws have made our capital markets the envy of the world." "For those who are starting up in this space now — either from traditional finance or as crypto-native companies — work with us on compliance from the beginning. It’s far less costly to do so from the outset. As Joseph Kennedy put it, “No honest business need fear the SEC."