Gary Gensler has been sworn in as the new Chairman of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), following his nomination by President Joe Biden and his subsequent confirmation by the Senate on April 14, 2021. Gensler, who succeeds former Chairman, Jay Clayton will lead the SEC for 5 years through 2026.
Gensler, a former Goldman Sachs executive has had a stint at the United States Department of Treasury where he served as Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions from 1997 to 1999 and his role as a blockchain and cryptocurrency lecturer at MIT Sloan School of management has made many believe he will bring the long-sought reform not just to the broader market, but to the fast-growing cryptocurrency ecosystem.
Amongst the major challenges ahead of the 63-year old is the ongoing lawsuit with blockchain payments firm, Ripple Labs incorporated, as many anticipate a plausible scenario either where Ripple and the SEC might reach a settlement or where the commission will eventually drop the case which already appears to be going in Ripple’s favor after a series of small wins.
Gary Gensler is Pro Crypto
The nomination of Gary Gensler has been noted by many industry thought leaders as a positive turning point for the cryptospace as Gensler has been seen as a pro-crypto veteran who understands the needs of how blockchain works and its relevance in a dynamic financial world.
One of the most recent proofs of Gensler’s positive disposition to the cryptocurrency industry was reflected in his description of Bitcoin at his nomination hearing. As reported by Coingape, Gensler said Bitcoin (BTC) is “A Catalyst for Change,” adding “Markets—and technology—are always changing. Our rules have to change along with them.”
From Gensler’s perspectives as he informed the lawmakers, financial innovation, and by extension, crypto can be a force for good if harnessed under applicable laws to the benefit of every market stakeholder. Anticipation mounts that in Gensler’s era, the first Bitcoin ETF product will be approved which may likely lead to the launch of more products to draw in mainstream market investors.
Will the SEC Drop the Ripple Lawsuit?
The SEC lawsuit against Ripple was filed toward the end of December 2020 by former Chair, Jay Clayton. The merits of the inherited case by Gary Gensler have been faulted by many, as the timing was seen as undue by many. While the case as noted earlier has been tilted in Ripple’s favor with the court first, granting the firm access to SEC’s correspondence regarding its classification of Bitcoin and Ethereum as cryptocurrencies, and secondly by denying the commission access to the company executive’s personal financial records.
Gary Gensler did not start this war, but many believe with his nomination and confirmation as the SEC Chair, he has the powers to stop the war.