Biden Selects MIT Blockchain Professor Gary Gensler to Head SEC

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In Brief
  • Gary Gensler will be appointed to the position of SEC Chairman according to reports.

  • Gensler has taught courses about Bitcoin and blockchain at MIT.

  • Comparatively open-minded about cryptocurrencies, he has called Bitcoin a modern form of gold.

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The crypto-savvy Gary Gensler will be appointed to the position of SEC Chairman — a move that will likely be advantageous for the industry.

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President-elect Joe Biden will appoint Gary Gensler as US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as Chairman, according to a Reuters report.

Gensler is knowledgeable about Bitcoin and blockchain, having taught a course on similar topics at MIT. Neither Biden nor Gensler has made an official statement on the subject as of press time.

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Gensler Goes SEC

Gensler was previously the Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) under the Obama administration from 2009–2014. He helped set new regulations in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis and has developed a reputation for being tough on Wall Street.

Concerning his stance on Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency market, Gensler has made statements indicating support for cryptocurrencies. Testifying before Congress, Gensler said that Bitcoin was a “modern form of gold.” He also believes that Diem (formally Libra) meets the requirements for being classified as a security.

However, Gensler is also aware that the asset class is rife with vulnerabilities, scams, and manipulation. The crypto community will likely be pleased with the decision, if true, as Gensler has sound knowledge of the assets and technology.

Generally speaking, analysts have remarked that a Democratic administration could be more crypto-friendly. The U.S. has been lagging in setting regulation standards, but developments in the past few months hint at a turnaround.

The Road to Regulation

The SEC has stated that it would pay more attention to the cryptocurrency market in 2020. By and large, that was true, as several steps have been taken by both the SEC and CFTC. More cases have been filed in recent months, and regulatory bodies have also offered more clarity.

Lawsuits include those against Telegram, Kik, and, most recently, Ripple. In most cases, when lawsuits are filed, the defendant has come out worse for wear. While Ripple will attempt to fight its case, it has a great deal to overcome. Most cases relate to fraud or the classification of an asset.

Both individuals and the organizations have also talked of firm-but-encouraging regulation, and their outlook is far from negative. The SEC also implemented a new rule to broker-dealers for cryptocurrencies.

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Rahul is an India-based Digital Marketer who became attracted to Bitcoin and blockchain technology in 2014. Ever since, he's been an active member of the community. Other than that, he is a die-hard gamer. This gadget freak is well renowned in his circle for binge-watching Game of Thrones.

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