Will SEC Chairman Gary Gensler Continue to Sue Cryptocurrencies as Bitcoin Hits Almost a Record?

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Written By Sedoso Feb

TD Cowen, an investment bank, predicts that United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Gary Gensler will continue to file cryptocurrency lawsuits following the agency’s recent victory in the Coinbase insider trading case.

Gensler “plans to file lawsuits to clarify the law before Congress creates a regulatory framework for crypto,” according to a note written Monday by TD Cowen Washington Research Group, led by Jaret Seiberg.

The group anticipates Gensler will continue this litigious approach for at least the next two years, until his term ends in June 2026.

Last week, a federal judge in the Western District Court of Washington ruled in favor of the SEC in the insider trading case. The case involved Coinbase’s former product manager Ishan Wahi, his brother Nikhil Wahi, and their friend Sameer Ramani. While the Wahi brothers reached a settlement, Ramani did not respond to the SEC’s criminal complaint.

On Friday, federal judge Tana Lin entered a default judgment against Ramani for trading based on inside information he obtained about which tokens Coinbase intended to list. Lin found that the case fell under the SEC’s jurisdiction because the crypto assets in question were securities, even though they were traded on Coinbase, a secondary market.

“We view this as another victory for the SEC,” TD Cowen said in a note.

“Every time justices express their interpretation of the law, it provides lawmakers with greater clarity on how to draft market structure legislation.”

According to TD Cowen, this situation also coincides with Gensler’s goal. While many criticize the SEC’s enforcement strategy and expect the agency to provide clarity on compliance for tokens and exchanges, TD Cowen accepts this perspective but claims that “it doesn’t really matter because the SEC has stayed the course under Gensler.”

TD Cowen noted that Gensler’s expected actions could lead to more conflicting decisions before Congress ultimately considers crypto market structure legislation.

*This is not investment advice.

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