Updated 12 Aug, 2021

SEC Chair Gary Gensler Calls Crypto a “Catalyst for Change”


Key Takeaways:

  • Gary Gensler plans over the rapidly growing crypto market calling crypto catalyst for change
  • Speaking at several events, Mr. Gensler says he’s “intrigued” by crypto, but wants more safety

SEC Chief Discusses Bitcoin and Steps Toward Crypto Regulation

Gary Gensler, the chair of the US Securities and Exchange Commission, had several opportunities this month to discuss crypto themes. In interviews with CNBC and Bloomberg, and in a speech before the Aspen Security Forum, Mr. Gensler talked about the need for regulation over the fast-emerging market. Also, he said how “intrigued” he was by the technology, among other topics.

Gensler is a former Goldman Sachs partner and a lecturer on Bitcoin and blockchain.  The SEC Chairman spoke to Bloomberg, saying that while he’s “neutral on the technology, even intrigued,” he’s not neutral about investor protection. “If somebody wants to speculate, that’s their choice, but we have a role as a nation to protect those investors against fraud.”

On CNBC, Gary Gensler spoke with Andrew Ross Sorkin and stressed the SEC would like to provide a basic protection against fraud and manipulation. Mr. Gensler also noted he would like to work with Congress and SEC-sibling agency Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Furthermore, he said all three institutions could introduce a regulatory framework that would guard crypto investors when trading digital assets.

Gary Gensler Says He’s Honored to Have Taught Bitcoin Courses

The largely unregulated crypto field is receiving more attention from financial watchdogs around the world. In spite of this, Mr. Gensler mentioned in his speech before the Aspen Security Forum that he is honored to have researched, wrote and taught about “crypto finance, blockchain technology, and money.”

Still, Mr. Gensler said in his speech before the forum that the digital asset class is “rife with fraud, scams, and abuse in certain applications.” On that note, he said that “right now, we just don’t have enough investor protection in crypto. Frankly, at this time, it’s more like the Wild West.”

Nevertheless, as a result of his work on crypto, he said he is convinced “Nakamoto’s innovation [Bitcoin] is real.” He also acknowledged the breakthrough potential hidden in the crypto realm. “Further, it has been and could continue to be a catalyst for change in the fields of finance and money.”