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US Senate Confirms Nomination of Gary Gensler as SEC Chair

UTC by Steve Muchoki · 3 min read
US Senate Confirms Nomination of Gary Gensler as SEC Chair
Photo: Third Way Think Tank / Flickr

However, the nomination of Gensler was not a smooth ride due to the political divide between the two leading parties.

The United States Senate confirmed the nomination of Gary Gensler as the new chair to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Gensler will lead the commission and perhaps the first mission will be to harmonize SEC laws with the changing technology in the financial ecosystem, particularly the blockchain industry.

As the new chair for SEC, Gensler brings significant experience as a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management. Besides, Gensler served as the 11th chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), under President Barack Obama, from May 26, 2009, to January 3, 2014. Before his nomination by president Joe Biden days before his inauguration, Gensler led the Biden–Harris transition’s Federal Reserve, Banking and Securities Regulators agency review team. Notably, he also served as the CFO for the Hillary Clinton 2016 presidential campaign.

His nomination was not a smooth ride due to the political divide between the two leading parties. Earlier last month, his nomination was confirmed at the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Development Committee by a vote of 14–10. During yesterday’s Senate vote, the house was divided again whereby the votes were 53-45.

SEC Chair Gary Gensler and the Cryptocurrency Industry

The previous administration, led by Donald Trump, was hostile to the cryptocurrency market. However, the current Biden administration seems receptive to the crypto market and the changing financial technologies.

The cryptocurrency industry has high hopes with the new SEC chair who has in the past endorsed the cryptocurrency and blockchain technology publicly. Particularly the XRP and Ripple, as there is an ongoing lawsuit filed by former SEC chair Jay Clayton claiming XRP is a security and Ripple has been selling unregistered securities.

“Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have brought new thinking to financial planning and investor inclusion. I’d work with fellow commissions both to promote the innovation but also, at the core, to ensure investor protection. If something were security, for instance, it comes under security regulation, under the SEC,” Gensler noted in a confirmation hearing.

Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse intends to collaborate with the current SEC administration led by Gensler especially to settle the ongoing lawsuit. “Congrats to Gary Gensler! We’re ready to work with SEC leadership and the broader Biden administration to chart a path forward for blockchain and crypto innovation in the US,” Garlinghouse earlier noted.

Even before he began his work in the office, Thomas Hodge, the founder of Crypto & Policy, started a petition on Change.org, asking Gensler to “end the war on XRP.”

However, it is not specifically clear on which route the new SEC chair will take the commission regarding the Ripple-XRP lawsuit.

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Steve Muchoki

A financial analyst who sees positive income in both directions of the market (bulls & bears). Bitcoin is my crypto safe haven, free from government conspiracies. Mythology is my mystery! "You cannot enslave a mind that knows itself. That values itself. That understands itself."

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