Gary Gensler, the Chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), took to Twitter on Halloween to deliver a unique birthday message to Bitcoin, as the cryptocurrency celebrated its 15th year since the release of its foundational white paper.
In his tweet, Gensler playfully referenced Bitcoin’s mysterious creator, Satoshi Nakamoto, while also using the occasion to address the compliance challenges faced by crypto companies.
Fifteen years ago, Satoshi Nakamoto, a pseudonymous figure, introduced the Bitcoin white paper titled “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System.” This document, made public on October 31, 2008, outlined a vision for enabling peer-to-peer payments without the need for traditional financial intermediaries.
In a quirky twist, Gensler pondered a hypothetical scenario: “If Satoshi Nakamoto dressed up as Satoshi Nakamoto for Halloween, would anyone be able to tell?”
While celebrating the milestone of Satoshi’s white paper, Gensler shifted to a more serious tone, emphasising the importance of compliance with securities regulations for crypto companies. He called for a transition from “tricking” investors to ensuring adherence to legal norms.
During Gensler’s tenure as SEC Chair, the regulatory agency has taken unprecedented actions against the digital asset industry. Notably, the SEC has filed lawsuits against major crypto players, including Binance, Coinbase, and Kraken.
Gensler’s strong stance on the industry revolves around his concerns that many crypto companies are involved in the sale of unregistered securities.
However, his approach has sparked criticism from industry leaders and lawmakers who argue that his regulatory efforts lack clarity and, in some cases, may lead to innovation relocating to overseas jurisdictions.
Separately, Gensler reiterated his viewpoint that the regulatory rules for the cryptocurrency market already exist. Speaking at the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government, he underscored that the vast majority of coins and tokens in the crypto space should be considered securities.
Congressman Sanford Bishop (D-GA) questioned Gensler about the SEC’s plans for cryptocurrency regulation.
Gensler responded by emphasising the existence of clear securities regulations for fundraising from the public, indicating that the rules are already comprehensive.
He has consistently argued that additional digital currencies are not required in the United States and expressed concerns about the industry’s foundation being rooted in noncompliance.