Gary Gensler Criticizes SEC on Bitcoin ETF ‘Inconsistent’ Approval in Resurfaced Video, Highlights Contradiction Under His Leadership

Gary Gensler, current SEC Chair, criticized the SEC’s past stance on Bitcoin products in a 2019 video that recently resurfaced. Social media reactions contrast Gensler’s past views with his current role, sparking discussions. In a recently resurfaced video from 2019, Gary Gensler, the current Chair of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), can [...]

Gary Gensler Criticizes SEC on Bitcoin ETF ‘Inconsistent’ Approval in Resurfaced Video, Highlights Contradiction Under His Leadership
Bitcoin ETF
  • Gary Gensler, current SEC Chair, criticized the SEC’s past stance on Bitcoin products in a 2019 video that recently resurfaced.
  • Social media reactions contrast Gensler’s past views with his current role, sparking discussions.

In a recently resurfaced video from 2019, Gary Gensler, the current Chair of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), can be heard expressing criticism of the SEC’s approach to Bitcoin products. The video, which has gained renewed attention on social media, has sparked discussions about the evolving landscape of cryptocurrency regulations.

Past Views at Odds with Current Role

During the 2019 MIT Bitcoin Expo, Gensler participated in a fireside chat with SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce. In this conversation, he voiced dissatisfaction with the SEC’s handling of Bitcoin products. Specifically, Gensler noted that while Bitcoin and Ethereum futures seemed destined to exist, Bitcoin Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) had not received the green light. He highlighted the inconsistency in this approach despite acknowledging the similarities in the governing laws.

Social media, particularly platform X (Twitter), has become a hub for discussions within the cryptocurrency community. Some users couldn’t help but point out the apparent contrast between Gensler’s previous critique and his current role as SEC Chair. Market analyst Zack Voell tweeted, “Gary Gensler says Gary Gensler is wrong,” highlighting the irony. Another Twitter user expressed a sense of nostalgia for what they perceived as a more laid-back and conventional Gensler.

SEC’s Track Record with Bitcoin ETFs

The SEC’s history with Bitcoin ETFs reveals a consistent pattern. As far back as 2017, the SEC has consistently rejected applications for spot Bitcoin ETFs. This pattern continued under Gensler’s leadership, with rejections based on concerns over inadequate safeguards against market manipulation.

One noteworthy development is the legal action Grayscale took against Gensler’s SEC. Grayscale sought approval to convert an existing Bitcoin trust into a spot ETF but faced rejection. A court ruling later deemed the SEC’s rejection “arbitrary and capricious.” Significantly, the SEC chose not to appeal this decision.

In recent times, there have been notable advancements in the pursuit of spot Bitcoin Exchange-Traded Funds, both from Grayscale and BlackRock. A United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued a mandate directing the SEC to reevaluate Grayscale Investments’ spot Bitcoin ETF application. The court’s decision was rooted in acknowledging similarities between Grayscale’s proposal and previously approved Bitcoin futures ETFs, positioning Grayscale’s application as deserving of consideration.

Moreover, the court emphasized its alignment with its perspective on the Mandate, in line with the United States Court of Appeals’ stance. This followed the SEC’s decision not to pursue an appeal related to its initial rejection of Grayscale’s bid to convert GBTC into a Bitcoin ETF

BlackRock’s Role in ETF Launch

In parallel, investment asset management giant BlackRock has made substantial progress in its proposed iShares spot Bitcoin ETF. It secured a spot on a Nasdaq-affiliated clearinghouse, marking a significant step toward launching the ETF. This development carries significant weight, particularly given BlackRock’s involvement with the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC), a key entity in the ETF launch process.

In the cryptocurrency realm, the DTCC listing holds significant importance. This endorsement is noteworthy considering the SEC’s historical hesitance regarding spot Bitcoin ETFs. Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas emphasized the DTCC listing as a substantial milestone in the journey toward approval.


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