Gensler’s Past and Present Contrasting Views on Cryptocurrencies
A recently unearthed video of Gary Gensler, current chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), has been making waves on social media platforms. In the video, Gensler is seen presenting at a 2018 Bloomberg event, two years before his appointment as SEC chair, where he asserts that multiple cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin and Ether, are not securities.
The circulation of this video brings into focus Gensler’s seemingly contrasting stances on cryptocurrency regulation over time. This has stirred debates within the crypto community, given the recent hardline approach adopted by the SEC under Gensler’s leadership.
Gensler’s Assertion in 2018
At the Bloomberg event, Gensler declared, “Over 70% of the crypto market is Bitcoin, Ether, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash. Why did I name those four? They’re not securities.” These remarks predate his tenure at the SEC, a period when he served as a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
The SEC’s Recent Crackdown on Cryptocurrencies
In his role as SEC chair, Gensler has overseen numerous enforcement actions against the cryptocurrency sector, suggesting that almost all cryptocurrencies, except Bitcoin, are securities. To date, the SEC has identified at least 68 cryptocurrencies as securities in various lawsuits, although none of the four cryptos Gensler mentioned in the 2018 video have been classified as such.
Gensler’s Stance on Ether: Then and Now
Gensler’s earlier stand on Ether, as seen in the video, starkly contrasts with his more recent views. In April, when pressed by a U.S. House Committee to clarify whether Ether is a security, Gensler declined to respond.
Past Videos of Gensler’s Comments on Cryptocurrencies
Other videos featuring Gensler during his time at MIT have resurfaced, revealing similar remarks on cryptocurrencies. One such video from 2019 showed Gensler praising Algorand as “great technology.” Interestingly, the same week this video started circulating, the SEC sued cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex and labeled ALGO as a security, leading many in the crypto community to label Gensler as hypocritical.
Reactions from the Crypto Community
Gensler’s seemingly inconsistent stance on cryptocurrencies has invited criticism from the crypto community. Many claim that his current actions as SEC Chair are at odds with his previous views, and accuse him of hypocrisy. This has led to a U.S. lawmaker introducing a bill aimed at dismissing Gensler on the grounds of abuse of power.