Will a new round of regulations add to the woes of the bear market, with SEC Chairman Gary Gensler posing the biggest threat?
Will new regulations worsen the bear market? Is SEC Chairman Gary Gensler the biggest threat?
Author | Finn Miller, Nazar Kuzmyn and Ciaran Lawler
Translation | Huohuo
Production | Blockchain in Plain English (ID: hellobtc)
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Gary Gensler, Chairman of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), seems to harbor a personal hatred for the crypto industry. From digital asset collateral to the Ripple (XRP) lawsuit, Gary is exerting regulatory pressure on crypto companies.
Most blockchain enthusiasts view him as a villainous enforcer of securities law. However, if done properly, this will make regulation of crypto assets clearer and more conducive to the long-term widespread adoption of digital assets.
So, is Gary Gensler’s true mission to kill Ethereum (ETH), or to lay the foundation for crypto and blockchain-based financial services to become mainstream?
01, Who is Gary Gensler?
Gary Gensler is the acting chairman of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) under the Biden administration. His most famous event in the crypto world was leading the SEC’s lawsuit against digital payment protocol Ripple, cracking down on collateral services of crypto trading platforms, and trying to turn all tokens into securities. Of course, all of this is in the name of protecting consumers.
Gary was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. With his father, Sam Gensler, he was exposed to finance-related things from a young age. His father ran cigarettes and pinball machines in local bars and often took Gary to calculate the total number of nickels on the machines.
After graduating from high school, Gary attended the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and earned a bachelor’s degree in economics. This was not enough for young ambitious Gensler, who continued his studies and eventually graduated from the Wharton School with an MBA. After receiving his MBA, Gensler eagerly began his career in finance.
In 1979, Gary began working at Goldman Sachs, one of the most prestigious investment banks in the world. Throughout the 1980s, Gensler worked in Goldman’s mergers and acquisitions department, primarily advising media companies, including leading a team that helped the National Football League reach the most lucrative television broadcast deal at the time, worth about $3.6 billion.
By the age of 30, Gary had become one of the youngest bankers at Goldman Sachs to be made partner. Later, he also became the co-head of finance for the firm.
Gary in Public Service
After 18 years at Goldman Sachs, President Bill Clinton nominated Gary to be the Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Domestic Finance. He was quickly confirmed by the U.S. Senate and began his career in government and public service.
Two years later, Gary moved departments to become the Deputy Secretary of the Treasury for Domestic Finance. This position placed Gary in a position of great responsibility, where he was responsible for policy and legislation in critical areas such as capital markets, public debt management, and fiscal affairs.
In recognition of his achievements and service in these positions, Gary was awarded the Alexander Hamilton Award, the highest honor of the U.S. Department of the Treasury. In 2001, Gary became a senior advisor to U.S. Senator Paul Sarbanes and was praised for his role in signing the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.
During the Obama administration, Gensler was sworn in as chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). At the same time, he continued to win the respect and admiration of his peers, who viewed him as one of the greatest reformers in the world following the global financial crisis.
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
After the Republican government of Trump, President Biden nominated Gary to be the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Thus, Gary led the regulation of crypto at the SEC’s headquarters in New York. (The SEC has five leaders, each member of which is nominated by the President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate, after which the President designates one member of the committee to serve as chairman.)
Meanwhile, Gary is also a cryptocurrency expert. Since 2018, Gary has been teaching courses on blockchain technology and crypto assets at the MIT Sloan School of Management.
02, Gary Gensler and the Crypto Market
Since taking over as SEC chairman, Gary has launched a comprehensive war on crypto regulation. Most notably, he led the SEC’s lawsuit against Ripple, which has been dragging on for years and could impact the future of US crypto regulation.
He also fined crypto exchanges such as Kraken millions of dollars for offering staking services, which sparked a wave of fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) throughout the crypto industry and raised concerns among other top trading platforms (such as Coinbase and its founder).
According to Gary Gensler, all crypto assets except Bitcoin (BTC) are securities. Gary uses a test as a measure, claiming that there is an entrepreneurial team running a business behind each crypto token, and investors hope to profit from it.
This also extends to the NFT field, although NFTs are easily seen as simple collectibles rather than investment tools, it is still a gray area.
Is Gary’s opinion really that important?
Although Gary Gensler’s position as SEC chairman has had a significant impact on how crypto regulation is done in the United States, Gary himself is not a legal spokesperson. He did not create the laws governing crypto regulation, nor could he manage their implementation.
In the United States, these key decisions are ultimately handled by the courts and federal judges.
Gary Gensler and SBF
It is worth noting that during SBF’s heyday in crypto, Gensler had worked closely with SBF. Before the crypto trading platform FTX ultimately collapsed, Gary Gensler and SBF even had private meetings.
It is speculated that SBF was in contact with Gary at the time, trying to establish a regulatory moat around FTX and monopolize US crypto asset trading. If the conspiracy theory linking SBF’s political donations to public officials is true, it has yet to be proven.
Many crypto investors were quick to point out that Gary seemed more interested in going after Ripple executives like Brad Garlinghouse than bringing alleged criminals like SBF to justice.
On the other hand, despite Gary’s negative reputation and profile in the crypto industry, he has had a successful career in finance and government, with an estimated net worth of $119 million, according to Bloomberg.
His mandate may well be to implement stricter regulation of cryptocurrency assets; however, if you live outside the United States, you should not experience any firsthand impact from his actions.
What do you think will be the follow-up trend of the SEC’s aggressive regulation of the cryptocurrency industry? Feel free to discuss in the comments.
Original link: https://dailycoin.com/gary-gensler-sec-chair-cryptocurrency-greatest-threat/
Original title: Gary Gensler: Is the SEC Chair Cryptocurrency’s Greatest Threat?
Original author: Finn Miller, Nazar Kuzmyn and Ciaran Lawler
Translated by: Huohuo