The United States securities regulator chief has hinted he would be open to a rebooted crypto exchange FTX — as long as its new leadership stays within the bounds of the law.
SEC Chair Gary Gensler’s comments were made in response to reports that Tom Farley, a former president of the New York Stock Exchange, is now in the running to buy the bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange founded by now-convicted fraudster Sam Bankman-Fried.
“If Tom or anybody else wanted to be in this field, I would say, ‘Do it within the law,’” Gensler said in an interview at DC Fintech Week on Nov. 8, according to CNBC. He added:
“Build the trust of investors in what you’re doing and ensure that you’re doing the proper disclosures — and also that you’re not commingling all these functions, trading against your customers or using their crypto assets for your own purposes.”
Farley is the CEO of cryptocurrency exchange Bullish, which was founded in 2021.
Fintech startup Figure Technologies and cryptocurrency venture capital firm Proof Group are the other two bidders in the mix to buy FTX, according to a Nov. 8 report by the Wall Street Journal, who cited people familiar with the matter.
3 FTX bidders in the Auction are:
Three bidders will be leading a consortium
— Sunil (FTX Creditor Champion) (@sunil_trades) November 8, 2023
The winner could restart the exchange after its planned exit from bankruptcy next year, according to the WSJ report.
Crypto still has its fair share of fraudsters, says Gensler
Meanwhile, in light of Bankman-Fried’s conviction, Gensler said the cryptocurrency industry is still rife with fraudsters and suggested more work needs to be done to keep them away from investors.
“Think about how many actors in this space are not complying right now with international sanctions and money laundering laws and are using crypto for nefarious or bad actions. He said, without naming individuals or companies. Gensler added:
“If it’s a non-compliant fraudster, why would we want them in our markets?”
Despite the SEC’s crackdown on the cryptocurrency industry, U.S. representative Tom Emmer has previously called out Gensler and the securities regulator in December for missing the FTX, Terra-LUNA, Celsius and Voyager failures which collectively wiped out billions of dollars from cryptocurrency investors.
JUST IN: US Congressman Tom Emmer says SEC Chair Gary Gensler is as ineffective as he is incompetent.
— Watcher.Guru (@WatcherGuru) November 8, 2023
The SEC is currently battling out lawsuits against Binance, Coinbase and Ripple over alleged securities violations and Grayscale for its application to convert its Bitcoin Trust product into a spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund.