As Trump finally concedes to Biden’s presidential win, Biden begins to enact his policies and nominate the future leaders of the United States. One particular nomination lends to a hopeful perspective on the future of cryptocurrency and blockchain regulation, adoption, and proliferation. Though it is not officially announced, the widespread belief is that Gary Gensler will be Biden’s nominee to lead the Securities Exchange Commission. Gensler was the chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission where he led the enforcement of the Dodd-Frank Act that was a response to the 2008 financial crisis.
Gensler has stayed mostly out of the political eye for the Trump years and spent time teaching courses on digital assets and blockchain at MIT. This would undoubtedly make Gensler the most blockchain informed chairman to head the SEC to date.
The implications of a blockchain and cryptocurrency savvy SEC chairman could be extremely positive toward the growth and widespread adoption of both. In 2020, we have seen large United States-based financial institutions adopt or begin studying blockchain and cryptocurrencies in various ways. PayPal and Square recently added cryptocurrency services to their platforms, while the United States Postal Service filed patents on a blockchain secured voting system. There is also a bill starting a path to create blockchain adoption within the federal government.
At the same time, for many in the crypto-assets sector, a savvy commissioner such as Gensler could also lead to problems such as harsher crackdowns on the trading of cryptocurrencies. In 2018, Gensler made a speech at MIT stating that both Ethereum and Ripple have violated American securities regulation but that Bitcoin most probably can stay outside of securities regulations. Gensler does have a penchant for lobbying toward more regulation within the crypto-asset market which for some is a pro while for others is a con. All-in-all Gensler has a reputation of taking on large financial institutions and being a major proponent of higher regulation within financial sectors.
That being said, we look forward to a leader within the SEC who understands blockchain and digital asset systems and can lead the rest of the financial sector into validating these technologies. This bodes well for investors who are currently and have been in the crypto market for years.