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ETH, BTC Not Securities- Gary Gensler: Analyzing the 2018 Video Amid New Anti-Market Stance

  • A newly resurfaced video from 2018 shows Gary Gensler saying  BTC, ETH, and LTC are not securities.
  • Crypto users sharply contrast Gensler’s pro and anti-crypto stance, highlighting significant swings over the years.
  • In a related development, some United States lawmakers are preparing a bill to reform the SEC and fire Gensler. 

Gary Gensler, the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has received criticisms over his sudden ideological shift since becoming the Commission’s boss in 2020.

A video from 2018 featuring Gary Gensler has resurfaced on social media showing him stating clearly that Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and Bitcoin Cash are not securities. Several pro-crypto accounts have shared the video describing Gensler as “unstable” in his views as he waged war against digital assets. 

Gensler was addressing institutional investors at an event hosted by Bloomberg and went on to say “Over 70% of the crypto market is Bitcoin, Ether, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash. Why did I name those four? They’re not securities.” At the time, Gensler was notably pro-crypto and was a Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he held lectures on blockchain technology. 

Two years down the line, he was appointed as the SEC boss with several industry executives and enthusiasts lauding the appointment as the turning point for the industry as inflows began trickling in from institutional investors in 2020. Over the years, the once-sweet experience has turned sour. 

The video resurfaced on social media after Gensler launched a new offensive against Binance US and Coinbase with lawsuits making several allegations including fraud and offering its services to unregistered securities. This is not the first of Gensler’s pro-crypto speeches to be circulated accusing him of bias as he now works with the SEC. 

This is not our Gensler 

The new Gary Gensler is not lenient towards digital assets as he was about four years ago. In his defence, many have said as a regulator, he needs to protect investors with everything although they also concede to the fact that his approach is wrong since there’s no clarity of regulation in the market. 

Before his appointment to the top job at the SEC, Gensler noted that ETH was not a security but post his appointment, he suggested that all cryptocurrencies other than BTC could be securities. As SEC chair, he failed to directly answer whether ETH constitutes securities while grilled by Congress leading to more uncertainty.

In a similar video in 2018, Gensler claimed that two-thirds of digital assets are “non-securities‘, but the Commission under his leadership has labelled about 68 digital assets as securities with lawsuits slapped on Binance and Coinbase. In 2019, Gensler referred to Algorand (ALGO) as a “great technology” Forward to 2023, the SEC claims ALGO is a security, a move that has significantly impacted the price of the assets. 

The digital asset community remains in shock at the transformation of Gensler, with some calling him a “hypocrite” while pushing for his exit from the SEC.

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