A video from 2019 has resurfaced, revealing that Gary Gensler, who currently leads the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), had criticized the regulator for its “inconsistent” handling of spot Bitcoin products. The resurfaced video, which features Gensler speaking at the MIT Bitcoin Expo in 2019, has attracted attention due to its contrast with his current position on spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs).
Inconsistent Approach to Bitcoin ETFs
In the video, Gensler discussed blockchain regulation in a fireside chat with SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce. He noted the existence of Bitcoin futures and the absence of Bitcoin ETFs at the time, describing the situation as “inconsistent.”
Gensler pointed out that while the laws governing Bitcoin and Ethereum futures and ETFs were not identical, they were quite similar. His remarks in the video have raised questions about the change in his stance since becoming the SEC chairman.
Current SEC Stance on Bitcoin ETFs
Under Gensler’s leadership, the SEC has continued to deny, delay, or push back spot Bitcoin ETF applications, citing concerns about market manipulation and investor protection. The SEC has approved Bitcoin and Ethereum futures ETFs, but spot Bitcoin ETFs have not received regulatory approval.
One notable case involved asset manager Grayscale, which sued the SEC for rejecting its proposal to convert its existing Bitcoin trust into a spot ETF. A court ruled that the SEC’s rejection was “arbitrary and capricious,” and the SEC did not appeal the decision.
The resurfaced video has prompted commentary and discussions in the crypto community, with some highlighting the inconsistency between Gensler’s past comments and his current approach to Bitcoin ETFs.