Ever since the creation of Bitcoin in 2009, it has been the hallmark name for cryptocurrencies, rendering itself permanently present in any discussion. Bitcoin has also somehow avoided scrutiny throughout the regulatory debacle created by the US Securities and Exchange Commission. All factors considered, could Bitcoin emerge victorious following the SEC war against cryptocurrencies?
In an interview with CNBC, SEC Chair Gary Gensler declared that Bitcoin, unlike Altcoins considered by previous SEC leaders, is a commodity. Gensler reported that “Some, like bitcoin, and that’s the only one, Jim, I’m going to say because I’m not going to talk about any one of these tokens [that] my predecessors and others have said [are] a commodity.” This could be in reference to previous SEC Director William Hinman’s speech that based his argument regarding the securities vs commodities argument on Ether.
There’s also a pattern worth noting; throughout the current war the SEC is waging against the crypto trading industry, the commission has mainly focused on altcoins, such as XRP, which is the central argument point in their case against US-based crypto exchange Ripple.
Moreover, another major international crypto exchange, Binance, was also on the receiving end of the SEC’s attack on crypto. While the legal battle marginally influenced the price of Bitcoin, it took a much heavier toll on Binance’s own token, BNB.
Even before being positioned as Chair of the SEC, Gary Gensler was seen in a presentation mentioning a handful of cryptocurrencies that he declared as “not securities”. Two of the four cryptocurrencies mentioned by Gensler during his presentation were Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash. Perhaps the SEC Chair is regularly creating stricter rules on crypto trade, but Bitcoin has somewhat, so far, emerged virtually unscathed by the crossfire between crypto exchanges and their assigned regulating commission.
Could it be that Bitcoin simply holds the First Mover advantage on the market? Being the first proof of concept, Bitcoin, created by Satoshi Nakamoto, showed what a truly decentralized currency would look like. And, although the currency has fluctuated in price over the years, it has maintained a much higher value than that of any altcoins in testimony to its popularity among any of its counterparts.
In an interview with Bloomberg, Business-intelligence firm MicroStrategy’s (MSTR) Founder and Executive Chairman Michael Saylor pointed out the struggles Altcoins deal with when it comes to SEC regulations, as opposed to Bitcoin. “I think it’s pretty clear that the regulators don’t see a legitimate path forward for cryptocurrencies like the stablecoins, crypto securities, like the tokens mentioned. They don’t have any love for crypto derivatives. They don’t have any love for crypto tokens.” He also added, “I mean their view is crypto exchanges should changes should trade and hold pure digital commodities like Bitcoin and so the entire industry is kind of destined to be rationalized down to a Bitcoin-focused industry with maybe a half a dozen to a dozen other proof of work tokens.”
Saylor’s view summarizes the current situation with the SEC, which is adamant about combating crypto exchanges on any cryptocurrency besides Bitcoin. Proof of such a view can be seen when the government itself was seen selling Bitcoins on one of the crypto exchange platforms it’s currently in legal arms with, Coinbase. Whether this view would change with the potential leadership change at the SEC is something only time will tell.