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Gensler: BTC and ETH not securities

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Gensler: BTC and ETH not securities

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Gary Gensler has recently stated that two of the biggest cryptocurrencies in the market, Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH), are not securities.

This statement was made during a recent virtual conference that was hosted by the Aspen Institute, where Gensler stated that although he believes most Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) that were launched between 2017 and 2018 were securities offerings, BTC and ETH have evolved into decentralized networks that operate without intermediaries and thus do not qualify as securities.

This statement by Gensler could mean significant relief for crypto investors and companies, as the classification of a cryptocurrency as a security would require companies to comply with stringent regulations that could be costly and burdensome.

BTC was launched in 2009 as a decentralized digital currency that operates on a blockchain, which is a distributed ledger technology that records transactions and maintains the integrity of the network. It was created as an alternative to traditional currencies that are controlled by central banks and financial institutions.

ETH was launched in 2015 as a decentralized platform that allows developers to build and deploy decentralized applications (DApps) on its blockchain. ETH operates as a utility token that is used to pay for transaction fees and services on the Ethereum network.

Both BTC and ETH have gained significant popularity over the years, with BTC being the largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, and ETH being the second largest.

While BTC and ETH have been exempted by the SEC from being classified as securities, other cryptocurrencies may not be as fortunate. The SEC has previously stated that it will evaluate each cryptocurrency on a case-by-case basis to determine whether it qualifies as a security.

In 2017, the SEC issued a report that stated that tokens offered in ICOs would be classified as securities if they met the criteria of the Howey test, which is a legal test used to determine whether an offering constitutes an investment contract and thus a security.

The Howey test consists of four elements: an investment of money, in a common enterprise, with an expectation of profits, solely from the efforts of others.

The SEC has taken enforcement action against several ICOs that it deemed to be securities offerings without proper registration or exemption from registration, such as the cases of Telegram and Kik.

Gensler, who was appointed as SEC Chairman in April of this year, has stated that he believes that the current regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies is inadequate and has called for greater regulation of the industry.

He has stated that he believes that there is a need for clear rules and regulations to protect consumers and investors, and to prevent manipulation and fraud in the industry.

Gensler has also stated that he believes that decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms, which are built on blockchain technology and operate without intermediaries, may need to comply with existing securities laws.

This is because DeFi platforms may offer financial products that meet the criteria of an investment contract, such as providing returns to investors, and thus may be deemed to be securities.

Gensler has also called for greater oversight of cryptocurrency exchanges, stating that he believes that trading platforms may be operating as unregistered securities exchanges and may be engaged in market manipulation, insider trading, and other illegal activities.

While the SEC’s classification of BTC and ETH as not being securities provides some clarity and relief for cryptocurrency investors and companies, there is still a need for greater regulatory clarity in the industry.

The SEC’s regulatory stance towards cryptocurrencies and ICOs is still evolving, and the industry should continue to engage with regulators and policymakers to ensure that the regulatory framework is proportionate, efficient, and effective.

The cryptocurrency industry has been innovative and disruptive, and has the potential to transform the financial system. However, innovation should not come at the cost of investor protection or market integrity.

It is hoped that the SEC, under Gensler’s leadership, will continue to work towards a regulatory framework that balances investor protection with innovation and growth in the cryptocurrency industry.

In conclusion, the recent statement by SEC Chairman Gary Gensler that BTC and ETH are not securities provides clarity and relief for the cryptocurrency industry. However, there is still a need for greater regulatory clarity and oversight in the industry to prevent fraud, manipulation, and other illegal activities. The cryptocurrency industry should continue to engage with regulators and policymakers to ensure that the regulatory framework is proportionate, efficient, and effective, and that innovation is not hampered by unnecessary regulatory burdens.

7 thoughts on “Gensler: BTC and ETH not securities

  1. This decision will only encourage more scams and fraud in the crypto market. The SEC is failing to protect investors.

  2. It’s disappointing to see the SEC bowing down to the crypto industry. This decision sets a dangerous precedent.

  3. Finally, a glimmer of regulatory clarity! BTC and ETH can now operate without the burdensome regulations imposed on securities. Let the crypto revolution continue!

  4. So the SEC is just going to overlook the fact that BTC and ETH were initially sold as investment contracts? Seems like a loophole to me.

  5. The path towards a more fair and inclusive regulatory environment is becoming clearer. BTC and ETH can now thrive without excessive regulations. Let’s keep moving forward!

  6. Thank you, Chairman Gensler, for providing clarity on the status of BTC and ETH. This will foster confidence and attract more investors into the market. 💪💸

  7. The SEC’s decision is a disservice to the entire financial system. It’s time for them to step up and protect investors. 😒

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