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Friday, February 23, 2024

Gary Gensler: Will a new man at the top of the SEC make the U-turn?

How is the change of government in the US affecting the crypto sector? The new head of the Securities and Exchange Commission promises some innovations and highlights the positive aspects of blockchain technology.

At the US stock exchange regulator, the applications for a Bitcoin ETF are almost piling up. President Biden is now bringing a new man to the helm of the SEC in Gary Gensler. Of course, a lot will depend on his attitude towards cryptocurrencies and blockchain. So far, there has been rather crude speculation about the price to be expected from the former Goldman Sachs manager.

Now Gensler has told the Senate Banking Committee that at its confirmation hearing on March 2nd, it would certainly encourage innovation in the field of cryptocurrencies. USA Today magazine published excerpts from this conversation. When asked about the need for regulation, Gensler described Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as “a catalyst for change”.

Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies have brought new mindsets to payments and financial inclusion, but they have also raised new investor protection issues […] If I am approved by the SEC, I will be committed to promoting innovation.

Gensler is considered a proven blockchain expert

In his opinion, it would be the wrong approach if the securities regulators turn a blind eye to the new technologies. At the same time, however, it is important not to neglect the principles of investor protection. Gensler also mentioned the importance of creating regulatory clarity. Since Gensler has many years of teaching experience as a FinTech professor at the renowned MIT, he is very familiar with blockchain technology. 

Central banks are really looking at how to offer more inclusive payment tokens. Blockchain technology as a shared accounting system leads to some thoughts on how to do trade finance. I’m neither a minimalist nor a maximalist, but I really believe it will be a catalyst for change.

These rather crypto-friendly statements almost represent a counter-position to the new US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. She recently pointed out , above all, criminal activities that exist in the field of crypto values. With Hester Peirce, there is already a commissioner at the SEC who sees the agency as having a duty to ensure clear regulatory provisions. One of the first highly anticipated official acts of Gary Gensler will also be a decision on the delicate Ripple case . However, it is still too early to draw conclusions from Gensler’s statements as to how he intends to proceed in this matter.

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