Gary Gensler, in a retrospective video from 2019 during the MIT Bitcoin Expo, voiced his disapproval of the Securities and Exchange Commission‘s erratic spot Bitcoin ETF stance.
During a panel discussion at the 2019 MIT Bitcoin Expo, Gensler took the United States securities regulator to task for its erratic approach to greenlighting spot Bitcoin products.
The video footage, which recently resurfaced on social media, showcases Gensler’s pre-SEC days as he engaged in a fireside chat about blockchain regulation with SEC commissioner Hester Peirce.
Gensler expressed his concerns, stating;
“The existence of Bitcoin futures, and, I believe, Ethereum futures and the like, while Bitcoin ETFs have not materialized, strikes me as incongruous…It appears somewhat inconsistent,” Gensler remarked. He further commented, “Even though the legal frameworks are not identical, they share significant similarities.”
Concurrently, on X (Twitter), the crypto community couldn’t help but emphasize the disparity in Gensler’s current standpoint on spot Bitcoin ETFs.
Market analyst Zack Voell quipped, “Gary Gensler asserts that Gary Gensler is mistaken.” Another X user remarked, “We missed out on a more relaxed and conventional Gensler.”
Up to the present time, the SEC has exclusively given the green light to Bitcoin and Ethereum futures ETFs.
SEC’s Ongoing Bitcoin ETF Stance: Denials, Delays, and Legal Challenge
Going back to 2017, the SEC has consistently denied spot Bitcoin ETF applications, a pattern that has persisted under Gensler’s leadership. Gensler has either refused, delayed, or postponed recent spot Bitcoin ETF applications, citing concerns about insufficient safeguards against market manipulation.
Gensler’s SEC faced a legal challenge from asset manager Grayscale after it rejected their request to transform their existing Bitcoin trust into a spot ETF. A court ruled that the SEC’s decision to reject the application was “random and arbitrary.” The SEC opted not to contest the verdict.