SEC Chief Says the U.S. Won’t Ban Cryptocurrencies

Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler has had multiple dust-ups with crypto firms but even he says the U.S. won’t follow China’s lead in banning digital tokens.

Gensler said Tuesday that the government’s focus is on ensuring that the industry adheres to investor and consumer protection rules, anti-money laundering regulations and tax laws.

He made the comments at a House hearing after a Republican lawmaker asked if a China-like prohibition was on the table in the U.S.

“Our approach is really quite different,” Gensler said. He added that any ban would probably have to be legislated by Congress.

China issued its sweeping ultimatum against crypto trading last month, saying all transactions were off limits and that it would move aggressively to root out token mining.

The announcement followed months of escalating Chinese warnings about virtual currencies.

Gensler’s remarks mirror those of Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, who said during a Sept. 30 congressional hearing that he had “no intention” of barring cryptocurrencies.