SILVER SPRING, Md. — The chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission said that investors need more protection in the cryptocurrency market, which he said is “rife with fraud, scams and abuse.”

Gary Gensler, appointed by President Joe Biden to lead the body that regulates securities markets, listed several areas where crypto needed to be reigned in or regulated, particularly with regard to money laundering, sanctions, tax collection and extortion using ransomware.

“Right now, we just don’t have enough investor protection in crypto,” Gensler said in remarks to the Aspen Institute’s forum on security, “Frankly, at this time, it’s more like the Wild West.”

Digital currencies, like Bitcoin, have been left largely unregulated by major governments up to this point. In June, China ordered cryptocurrency mining operations shut down and banks started refusing to help customers with Bitcoin transactions. Although the SEC has brought and won dozens of…

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