- Gary Gensler cautioned crypto firms “tricking investors” to comply with securities laws.
- The post led to sharp digs and a few speculations.
On 31 October, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair Gary Gensler posted a congratulatory message as Bitcoin [BTC] completed 15 years, evoking Satoshi Nakamoto’s famous white paper.
In the same breath, he cautioned crypto firms, which were seemingly “tricking investors,” to comply with securities laws.
If Satoshi Nakamoto went as Satoshi Nakamoto for Halloween, would we be able to tell?
Happy 15th anniversary to Satoshi’s famous white paper that started crypto.
Any crypto companies that are tricking investors should start treating them to compliance with the securities laws.
— Gary Gensler (@GaryGensler) October 31, 2023
Gensler’s post was indicative of his long-held position, as per which, crypto assets can only operate in the US if they are classified as securities and are subject to the SEC’s regulation.
Only last week, Gensler had mentioned Satoshi’s iconic paper in a speech slamming the crypto industry as being rife with “fraud, scams, bankruptcies, and money laundering.”
Ripple counsel takes a dig at Gensler
Gensler’s latest tweet drew sharp reactions from different corners.
Ripple’s [XRP] chief counsel Stuart Alderoty was quick to retort. He said that while Gensler was posting “bad Halloween jokes,” his agency is being condemned for not being accountable to the US Congress.
While Mr. Gensler is making bad Halloween jokes on X, his agency is being shamed for ignoring the law that requires agency rules to be reviewed by Congress. Seems the SEC has become the lawless Wild West Gensler loves to talk about so much. https://t.co/WTkyRhyrLy
— Stuart Alderoty (@s_alderoty) October 31, 2023
Alderoty retweeted a recent post by the US Government Accountability Office that criticized the SEC’s decision to not submit a crypto-related bulletin report to Congress. The SEC, in its defense, said the bulletin is neither an agency action nor a binding agency statement.
During Gensler’s stint, the SEC has taken action against multiple crypto firms such as Binance [BNB], Coinbase [COIN] for allegedly violating securities laws in the US.
Gary Gensler’s critics in the industry refer to his policy towards crypto as “regulation by enforcement.”
In the last few months, the agency has partially lost court cases against Ripple and Grayscale.
Speculations around Bitcoin ETF approval abound
Gensler’s tweet also led to speculations that the SEC was looking at the applications of spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) positively. Evolve ETFs CIO and COO Elliot Johnson speculated if the SEC Chair’s tweet was “another sign” of forthcoming approvals for Bitcoin ETFs.
— Elliot Johnson (@ElliotEvolveETF) October 31, 2023
On the other hand, Eric Balchunas, a senior ETF analyst at Bloomberg, responded that he didn’t read much in the tweet. However, it was interesting that crypto is in the mind of the securities regulator’s chairman, he added.
Ha no read on this from us, just a little “regulatory humor” altho interesting that this is what is on his mind
— Eric Balchunas (@EricBalchunas) October 31, 2023
Gensler told Bloomberg last month that his agency was reviewing multiple Bitcoin ETF applications.
15 years since Satoshi’s Bitcoin white paper
Satoshi’s white paper was published 15 years ago on 31 October 2008. It outlined the basic structure of the Bitcoin network, a financial network without any centralized financial institutions or third parties.
Since then, the crypto market has come a long way. Its market cap stood at $1.24 trillion at press time.
Moreover, Bitcoin, the king coin, was trading at $34,340 at the time.