The Cryptocurrency Industry Has a New Sheriff in Town

  • Prospective head of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Gary Gensler’s comments at his Senate confirmation hearing sends Bitcoin momentarily lower
  • Gensler spoke of the need to weed out fraud and manipulation in cryptocurrency markets, in what ought to have been seen as a welcome initiative
 
Bitcoin and friends wavered slightly in the morning trading session during Tuesday’s Senate confirmation for Biden’s pick to head up the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Gary Gensler.
 
Bitcoin dipped to its lowest level in days as Gensler noted that ensuring the cryptocurrency markets are free of fraud and manipulation, will be a challenge for the agency that he is slated to head.
 
Bitcoin slipped to around US$47,000 after those comments but has since recovered and is pressing hard on US$50,000.
 
Gensler has a long history with cryptocurrencies, having spoken and written about the nascent asset class for years and with his most recent gig teaching about cryptocurrencies and blockchain at MIT’s Sloan School of Management.
 
Yet nothing that Gensler expressed at his confirmation hearing was out of the ordinary or in any way shape or form, inconsistent with his previously expressed views on cryptocurrencies.
 
Gensler has long viewed the cowboy nature of the cryptocurrency market as one being ripe for regulation.
 
But with greater regulation, ironically, come greater opportunity, which makes yesterday’s dip all the more puzzling.
 
Cryptocurrency advocates have been calling for clearer regulation for almost a decade.
 
And while some jurisdictions have outright banned cryptocurrencies, others have adopted a more piecemeal approach, regulating some portions of the sector, whilst leaving the others to flourish.
 
Unprecedented fiscal and monetary stimulus helped to thrust Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies into the spotlight last year and a crypto-savvy Gensler to helm the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission could not have come at a better time.
 
The hope of course is that Gensler will push for more comprehensive cryptocurrency regulations and potentially pave the way for that long-awaited U.S. Bitcoin ETF, a move that can only place even more upward pressure on Bitcoin’s dollar price. 
 
 

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