Most crypto should be regulated as securities, NYSE-owner ICE's CEO says

Jeff Sprecher, chief executive officer of IntercontinentalExchange speaks during the Sandler O'Neill global exchange and brokerage conference in New York June 10, 2011. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo

NEW YORK, Dec 6 (Reuters) - Most cryptocurrencies will likely be regulated under existing securities laws following crypto exchange FTX's collapse, and traditional players like the New York Stock Exchange may move into tokenized trading, the head of NYSE-owner Intercontinental Exchange Inc (ICE.N) said on Tuesday.

"They're going to be regulated and dealt like securities," ICE Chief Executive Jeffrey Sprecher said of cryptocurrencies at a financial services conference by Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N).

"What does that mean? It means more transparency, it means segregated client funds, the role of the broker as a broker-dealer will be overseeing and the exchanges will be separated from the brokers. The settlement and clearing will be separated from the exchanges."

FTX, one of the world's largest crypto exchanges, filed for bankruptcy in November after about $6 billion was withdrawn in 72 hours, rival crypto platform Binance walked away from a rescue deal, and FTX's founder was accused of funneling customer deposits to FTX's affiliated trading firm.

Sprecher said he was not convinced that new laws are needed to govern cryptocurrency trading.

"The laws already exist and I think they're just going to be implemented more strongly," Sprecher said.

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler has said he expects his agency to be the primary cryptocurrency regulator because he considers most crypto tokens to be securities.

"We happen to run a securities exchange, so I could see us doing tokenized trading," ICE's Sprecher said, referencing the NYSE. "It's not that different than a stock or an ETF or any other security."

Reporting by John McCrank; Editing by Richard Chang

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