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Gary Gensler to Appear before Congress for Duplicitous Stance on Digital Assets

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by Tolu Ajiboye · 3 min read
Gary Gensler to Appear before Congress for Duplicitous Stance on Digital Assets
Photo: Unsplash

SEC Chair Gary Gensler will testify before Congress today for allegedly promoting ALGO despite his hard-boiled stance against crypto assets. 

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair Gary Gensler will appear before Congress today amid an ongoing probe. The high-ranking government official and one-time investment banker will testify before the House Financial Services Committee regarding allegations he shilled Algorand (ALGO). Gensler allegedly promoted the native crypto to the proof-of-stake blockchain despite his anti-crypto stance at the SEC.

In light of video footage showing Gensler touting ALGO and later calling it a security, critics call the SEC Chair a hypocrite. Meanwhile, US Congressman Warren Davidson (R-OH) submitted a document proposing Gensler’s removal from office. In what he described as correcting “a long series of abuses,” Davidson tweeted:

“I am introducing legislation that removes the Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission and replaces the role with an Executive Director that reports to the Board (where authority resides). Former Chairs of the SEC are ineligible.”

Davidson’s tweet responded to Coinbase chief legal officer Paul Grewal’s statement about Gensler’s plans to readdress the proposed redefinition of an exchange.

According to reports, Gensler appears to have touted ALGO at numerous public events since 2019. In the footage, which serves as the latest evidence, the SEC Chair speaks commendably about Algorand founder Silvio Micali. Gensler said of the Italian computer scientist:

“Silvio Micali’s Alogrand, he’s a Turing Award winner at MIT I work with… Silvio’s got a great technology; it has performance; you could create Uber on top of it.”

Gensler’s glowing description of a crypto pioneer is a U-turn from his well-documented, hard-boiled anti-crypto stance at the SEC. Even more surprising is that the SEC Chair is listed as an instructor on an MIT Open Courseware called “Blockchain and Money”.

US Chamber of Commerce Assesses Gary Gensler Hearing at Congress

The US Chamber of Commerce sent a letter to the House Committee on Financial Services as Congress members appear set to grill Gary Gensler. In the letter, the prominent lobbying group described the SEC’s role as “central to the function of US capital markets.” In addition, the Chamber of Commerce said the securities regulator’s rulemaking agenda poses significant consequences.

The Chamber of Commerce noted that Gensler is appearing before HFSC members for the first time since October 2021. However, the group pointed out Gensler would not “appear before the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee in complement to his testimony in the House.” The SEC Chair’s lighter testimony schedule suggests either a lack of interest in oversight exercise by the House or an aversion to Gensler’s testimony.

In its letter, the US Chamber of Commerce also posed fifteen questions it expects Congress to ask Gensler during his hearing. These include whether the SEC heeded the major doctrines in its rulemaking authority and steps taken to update the framework to cover crypto assets. Furthermore, the Chamber of Commerce also predicts the HFSC would delve into the looming threat of European Union foreign disclosure requirements. According to the group, Congress might ask Gensler to explain how the SEC has sought to protect American markets and companies.

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