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EXCLUSIVE — Sen. Elizabeth Warren on SEC's crypto move: "wrong on the legal analysis here, and the policy is terrible"

EXCLUSIVE — Sen. Elizabeth Warren on SEC's crypto move: "wrong on the legal analysis here, and the policy is terrible"

Ep. 2 — Sen. Elizabeth Warren (1-11-2024)
US Capitol. Photo: Matt Laslo

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) reacts to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) recent approval of 11 spot Bitcoin ETFs.

LISTEN: Laslo & Warren


Below find a rough transcript of Ask a Pol’s exclusive interview with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), slightly edited for clarity.


TRANSCRIPT: Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)

Matt Laslo: “Hey, how are you ma’am?”

Elizabeth Warren: “How you doing? Just fine.”

ML: “I’ve got my pulse. Curious, did you see crypto stuff with the SEC yesterday?”

EW: “I did.”

We were traversing a crowded hallway in the basement of the Capitol, so I didn’t hear her correctly.

ML: “I read that in The Hill this morning, I guess their X handle was hacked, and so they made an announcement that was false, which is not good for the SEC.”

EW: “Nope. Nope.”

ML: “But what do you think of, generally, the announcement? Is this the normalization of crypto?”

EW: “[SEC Chair] Gensler was wrong on the law and wrong on the policy, but if he's going to — come with me.”

Warren motions for me to get on an elevator with her in the Capitol.

EW: “If he's going to help embed crypto even deeper in our financial system, then it's urgent that we get anti-money laundering rules in place.”

ML: “Yeah?”

EW: “I mean, that's just the minimum.”

ML: “Do you think this is an admission from him that he was wrong? Or were his hands kind of tied here?”

EW: “I think he misunderstood…”

ML: “I have a lot of questions for him.”

EW: “I do too! I have a lot of questions for Mr. Gensler. I think he's wrong on the legal analysis here, and the policy is terrible. Letting an unregulated financial transacting system that moves around trillions of dollars in value without any limitations on use by drug traffickers, terrorists or rouge nations is dangerous to our financial system and to the stability of the entire world.”

ML: “Anything you’re going to do to check him?”

Warren Aide: “We are late…”

EW: “Let's let's pass the anti-money laundering bill.”

ML: “Yes, ma'am. Preciate ya!”

SEE: Sen. Cynthia Lummis’ reaction

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Matt Laslo’s a WIRED contributor, lectures on technology’s impact on government at the Johns Hopkins University (MA) and is the founder of Ask a Pol — the people-powered press corps. Find him on social media @MattLaslo.


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