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Gary Gensler “Not Done” Yet After SEC Boss Trolls Cryptoverse With Resignation

Published April 18, 2024 4:15 PM
Eddie Mitchell
Published April 18, 2024 4:15 PM
Key Takeaways
  • Gary Gensler is not resigning from chair of the SEC and could remain until 2026.
  • Under his watch, the SEC has brought a record 46 enforcement actions against the crypto industry.
  • Landmark cases against Ripple (XRP) and Coinbase are ongoing.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Chairman, and one of crypto’s most notorious antagonists, Gary Gensler sent the cryptoverse into a spin on Wednesday after tricking them into believing he was to resign from the SEC in a thread on X.

Seemingly, the SEC chair has a devilish sense of humor, despite numerous major courtroom battles with Coinbase, Ripple (XRP), and others. Not to mention growing criticism of his “enforcement” approach to crypto regulation.

Not Over Yet

The thread on X starts off like any typical resignation, with Gensler describing the “honor” it has been to serve as the SEC chair.

He remembers all that he has achieved in his three years, fondly recalling the 2,000+ enforcement actions the SEC has filed, the billions in fines collected, and the new legislative rules introduced under his stewardship.

However, to the dismay of the cryptoverse, Gensler has a previously unknown knack for comedic timing.

Gensler isn’t considered to be one of the greatest advocates of crypto. Many, including members of the SEC such as “Crypto Mom” Hester Peirce, have criticized the agency’s “enforcement-only” approach to crypto that not only stifles U.S. competitiveness but also the industry itself.

Genslery’s Track Record

Under Gensler, 2023 marked a decade-high for crypto-enforcement actions from the SEC, totaling 46, double that of 2021. Gensler’s approach to regulating crypto is considered pretty harsh, and has publicly stated that he believes crypto is rife with fraud and manipulation.

There’s merit to this claim, considering that he has presided over some of the biggest crypto calamities in history. During Gensler’s time as SEC chair, he has overseen the FTX and Binance investigations that saw FTX CEO Sam-Bankman Fried (SBF) jailed for 25 years.

With former Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao awaiting his criminal sentencing hearing on April 30, 2024, Gensler has some major victories under his belt. However, these are largely in criminal cases.

On the regulatory side of the SEC’s numerous courtroom dramas are two separate landmark cases, namely Ripple and Coinbase.

These cases have major implications for the future of cryptocurrencies, exchanges, brokerages, and so on, as they may set a precedent for how crypto tokens are classified, and regulated, and at which point they become securities.

Another 2 Years?

Gensler was nominated to the chair of the SEC by President Joe Biden in 2021, and is likely to serve until April 2026. That said, it is customary for the SEC chair to resign if a new president is elected, which could be happening in November this year.

With a fresh action pending for decentralized finance (DeFi) platform Uniswap, and the potential for the Ripple case to reach the Supreme Court, 2024 could be the biggest year of Gensler’s career in one way or another.

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