SEC’s Gensler says BTC, ETH ‘not securities’ in a newly surfaced video

    13 Jun 2023

    The 2018-era Gensler appeared much more lenient towards certain cryptocurrencies, including Ether.

    A newly surfaced video featuring Gary Gensler from 2018 has made the rounds on social media, showing the now-chair of the United States securities regulator agastating that multiple cryptocurrencies are “not securities.”

    On June 12 multiple Twitter accounts shared the video which is understood to come from a 2018 event hosted by Bloomberg for institutional investors.

    “Over 70% of the crypto market is Bitcoin, Ether, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash. Why did I name those four? They’re not securities,” Gensler says in the video.

    At the time, Gensler was a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the video predates his appointment to chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) by approximately two years.

    It appears to contrast with Gensler’s more recent actions at the SEC, which has seen the regulator initiate a flurry of enforcement action on the crypto space in the past few months.

    In his capacity as SEC chair, he has suggested that all cryptocurrencies — besides Bitcoin — are securities. In total, the SEC has labeled at least 68 cryptocurrencies as securities in various lawsuits, though none of the four cryptocurrencies mentioned in the 2018 video have made it on this list.

    The comments in the video are however another contrast from Genslers more recent views on Ether. The SEC chair was pressed for his answer on if ETH was security before a U.S. House Committee in April, but he refused to answer.

    Other videos of Gensler taken around his time at MIT have also surfaced this year showing him making similar comments about crypto.

    In a 2019 video that circulated in April, Gensler called Algorand “great technology.” The same week the video circulated, the SEC sued crypto exchange Bittrex and claimed ALGO was a security in its complaint with many in the crypto space calling the SEC chair a hypocrite.

    In another video dated 2018 that circulated in April, Gensler was teaching a class at MIT and claimed three-quarters of the market was “non-securities.”

    “It’s just a commodity, cash, crypto,” Gensler went on to say.

    While Gensler’s comments came at a time before he chaired the SEC, many in the crypto space have claimed his actions are hypocritical. One U.S. lawmaker introduced a bill with the intention of firing Gensler claiming he’s abusing his power.


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