Gensler Cheers $2.4B Funding Proposal for SEC in Biden Budget

The funding, if approved by Congress, would allow the agency to double its headcount, allowing the division handling crypto affairs “to investigate misconduct on a larger scale.”


Source: Shutterstock / DCStockPhotography, modified by Blockworks


SEC Chair Gary Gensler voiced his support of President Joe Biden’s request to fund his agency to the tune of $2.4 billion, claiming the funding would go a long way to taming the “wild west” of the crypto markets.

“I am pleased to support the President’s [financial year] 2024 request of $2.436 billion for the SEC, to put us on a better track for the future,” Gensler said during a House Financial Services subcommittee hearing.

Rapid technological innovation in the financial markets, particularly crypto, has led to misconduct in emerging areas, he added in his published remarks.

Critics argue the agency, under Gensler, has unfairly targeted the industry, which has led to a series of high-profile enforcement actions through litigation — most recently with crypto exchange Coinbase’s receipt of a Wells notice earlier this month. 

The regulator is alleging Coinbase violated US securities through its spot market, staking service, Coinbase Prime and Coinbase Wallet. Weeks prior, rival exchange Kraken agreed to settle with the SEC for $30 million over similar allegations, without admitting wrongdoing.

The funding, if approved by Congress, would allow the agency to double its headcount, allowing the division handling crypto affairs “to investigate misconduct on a larger scale.”

“Addressing this requires new tools, expertise and resources,” Gensler said. It would also speed up the pace of enforcement investigation through “resolutions.”

The SEC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“These additional resources would strengthen the division’s ability to protect American families by addressing risks in the crypto markets, cyber and information security, and the resiliency of critical market infrastructure,” he said.

Crypto is “rife with noncompliance,” Gensler added, seemingly ignoring Coinbase’s accusation it has attempted to engage with the regulator on multiple occasions for a clear path to registration. 

“Investors have put hard-earned assets at risk in a highly speculative asset class,” he said.

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