On Monday, Gary Gensler, the chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commissions (SEC), said that Bitcoin is the only cryptocurrency he is willing to publicly categorize as a commodity. In his preview, he added that most cryptocurrencies could be broadly classified as securities even though their creators claim to be utilities.
SEC and Gary Gensler’s Position on Bitcoin
Gensler appeared on CNBC’s Squawk Box by Jim Cramer, expressing his thoughts on the cryptocurrency market. His speech was centered on the argument of crypto assets’ regulatory classification.
Earlier, there had been unofficial talk of the SEC’s position on Bitcoin without official endorsement. Even though there was clarity, the head of the U.S. most influential and powerful regulator was careful and picky with his words. By confirming that Bitcoin is a commodity, he made public the agency’s preview of the currency.
In his words:
Many of these tokens…the investing public are hoping for a return just like when they invest in other financial assets we call securities. Many of these financial assets, crypto financial assets, have the key attributes of a security.
Gensler addressed his objective of calling for policymakers to introduce relevant laws for crypto and digital assets. This way, there will be clarity on whether an asset is compliant with laws as a utility, commodity, or investment contract, that is, a security, meeting all conditions of the Howey Test.
The SEC vs. Ripple Court Case
The SEC has been continuously cracking down on cryptocurrency projects and influencers, fining them millions of dollars for promoting the illegal sale of crypto securities.
The agency is currently embroiled in a court case with Ripple Inc., a blockchain company in the U.S., which they accuse of raising $1.3 billion through selling unregistered securities.
The case has been dragging on for months, but the presiding judge will likely issue a verdict in the next few weeks. Considering the evidence presented and Ripple lawyers argument, the judge may probably rule unfavorably against the agency.
Still, Ripple’s executives, mainly Bradley Garlinghouse, have been vocal, continuously calling for regulatory clarity in the U.S. In a recent commentary, Bradley said if the judge rules against them, they will shift their operations away from San Francisco and the U.S. to more regulatory-friendly jurisdictions.
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