The chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission referred to cryptocurrency as “the Wild West” and warned troops not to “get caught up in the FOMO.”
Gary Gensler, chairman of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), has found a new audience for his crypto-skeptical pep talks: the United States Army.
On Jan. 11, the U.S. Army hosted its first Twitter Spaces event of 2023, with Gensler and SEC commissioner Caroline Crenshaw joining the discussion to provide financial advice on how and where U.S. soldiers should invest their money.
— U.S. Army (@USArmy) January 11, 2023
Sergeant Lawrence Holmes noted “there are soldiers that look for those alternative investments [such as] crypto assets,” asking the pair what risks there were to crypto investing.
“It’s the Wild West,” Gensler answered, adding that “most of these 10,000 or 15,000 tokens will fail.”
“History tells us there’s not much room for micro currencies, meaning, you know, we have the U.S. dollar and Europe has the euro and the like.”
He urged soldiers not to “get caught up in the FOMO — the fear of missing out” saying cryptocurrencies are “highly speculative” and “non-compliant.”
“Most of these are not complying with the securities laws, but they should be.”
Gensler further advised that if the G.I.’s see a yield that’s “too good to be true — it probably is” regardless of whether it’s crypto-based or not.
Crenshaw added to Gensler’s comments, saying that cryptocurrencies are “noted for their scams” and stated:
“They claim to be transparent, what’s on the blockchain is transparent but the rest of what’s there is not transparent and I think there have been some examples of that recently.”
She said those considering a crypto investment should give “careful, careful consideration” to the percentage of their portfolio they devote to digital assets.
As for the SEC’s advice on where U.S. Army personnel should place their dollars, Crenshaw told troops to invest “as much as possible” in a Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) — a government-sponsored retirement plan for federal employees and service members.