A video from 2018 featuring Gary Gensler, the current chair of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), has surfaced on social media. In the video, Gensler states that cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ether, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash are “not securities.” The video was shared on Twitter and appears to be from a Bloomberg event for institutional investors.
It is noteworthy that Gensler made these comments before he became the chair of the SEC, while he was still a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In recent months, the SEC, under Gensler’s leadership, has initiated several enforcement actions in the crypto space. Gensler has suggested that all cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin are securities, and the SEC has labeled at least 68 cryptocurrencies as securities in various lawsuits. However, none of the four cryptocurrencies mentioned in the 2018 video have been classified as securities by the SEC.
Gensler’s comments in the video contrast with his more recent views on cryptocurrencies, including Ether. In April, when asked if Ether was a security during a hearing before a U.S. House Committee, Gensler declined to provide a clear answer.
Similar videos of Gensler making comments about cryptocurrencies have also surfaced this year, causing some in the crypto space to accuse him of being hypocritical. In one video, Gensler praised Algorand as “great technology,” but the SEC later sued crypto exchange Bittrex and claimed that Algorand (ALGO) was a security in its complaint.
While Gensler’s 2018 comments were made before he assumed his role as SEC chair, critics argue that his actions since taking office have been inconsistent with his earlier statements. Some have even called for his removal, alleging abuse of power.