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SEC Chairman Gary Gensler Caught Shilling Algorand, Now Deems It a Security

2 mins
Updated by Michael Washburn
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In Brief

  • SEC Chairman Gary Gensler promotes Algorand despite his anti-crypto stance at the SEC.
  • Footage emerged the same day the SEC called Algorand (ALGO) a security.
  • A colleague has criticized Gensler's stance on blockchain. Many see him as anti-crypto.
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The head of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Gary Gensler, has been caught promoting Algorand. Critics are calling him a hypocrite. 

Footage has emerged of Gary Gensler, Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), promoting the cryptocurrency Algorand (ALGO). Gensler, SEC chair since 2021, is spearheading a regulatory crackdown on Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

At one point in the clip, Gensler speaks highly of Italian computer scientist Silvio Micali, the project’s founder. “Silvio Micali’s Alogrand, he’s a Turing Award winner at MIT I work with… Silvio’s got a great technology, it has performance, you could create Uber on top of it.” 

Moreover, Gensler appears to have been speaking highly of Algorand at multiple public events since at least 2019.

Despite his anti-crypto stance at the SEC, Gensler is also listed as an instructor on a MIT Open Learning course, “Blockchain and Money.”

One of Gensler’s colleagues at the SEC has criticized his opposition to blockchain technology. “Rather than embracing the promise of new technology as we have done in the past, here we propose to embrace stagnation, force centralization, urge expatriation, and welcome extinction of new technology,” Commissioner Hester Peirce said on April 14.

Gensler’s Anti-Crypto Reputation

In the United States, promotion of a security falls under the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These laws regulate the offer and sale of securities, require registration or an exemption, and prohibit misrepresentation or omission of material facts. And those who fall afoul can face civil and criminal penalties, including fines and imprisonment.

Last year, the SEC took legal action against reality star Kim Kardashian for touting a crypto security.

The news comes on the same day that the SEC named six crypto tokens listed on Bittrex as securities. Algorand is among them. According to the SEC, these tokens should be securities under US law because investors expected to make a profit from them.

On Monday, the SEC also announced the appointment of Inspector General Deborah J. Jeffrey. But it is not yet clear if the new official will investigate Gensler for potentially promoting Algorand as a security.

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Josh Adams
Josh is a reporter at BeInCrypto. He first worked as a journalist over a decade ago, initially covering music before moving into politics and current affairs. Josh first owned Bitcoin in 2014 and has followed the space ever since. He is particularly interested in Web3 adoption, policy and regulation, CBDCs, privacy, and the future of the metaverse.