SEC’s Gary Gensler Clarifies Bitcoin’s Security Status, Evades Commodity Label

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Gensler’s Stand on Bitcoin as a Security

Dur­ing a recent ses­sion before the US Con­gress, Gary Gensler, the head of the Secu­ri­ties and Exchange Com­mis­sion (SEC), con­firmed once more that he doesn’t view Bit­coin as a secu­ri­ty. Respond­ing to a ques­tion posed by Con­gress­man Patrick McHen­ry, Gensler point­ed out that con­sis­tent con­sen­sus among him, the SEC team, and for­mer chairs was that Bit­coin does not sat­is­fy the cri­te­ria set out by the Howey Test – a bench­mark that deter­mines what qual­i­fies as a secu­ri­ty in the Unit­ed States.

Elusiveness on Bitcoin’s Commodity Status

Although Gensler was clear on Bitcoin’s sta­tus as not being a secu­ri­ty, he was notably more reserved when McHen­ry inquired if this then des­ig­nates Bit­coin as a com­mod­i­ty. Instead of pro­vid­ing a direct answer, Gensler vague­ly men­tioned that “the test is dif­fer­ent for oth­er reg­u­la­tions”, imply­ing the uncer­tain­ty sur­round­ing Bitcoin’s pre­cise clas­si­fi­ca­tion under var­i­ous legal frameworks.

Controversy Surrounding Gensler and FTX Exchange

The dis­cus­sion wasn’t sole­ly cen­tered on Bit­coin. Con­gress­man McHen­ry brought up con­cerns relat­ed to the recent col­lapse of the FTX cryp­to exchange and its link with its founder, Sam Bankman-Fried. Gensler’s alleged opac­i­ty around his inter­ac­tions with both FTX and Bankman-Fried was a sig­nif­i­cant point of con­tention. McHen­ry rebuked Gensler for his per­ceived “lack of recep­tiv­i­ty” towards Congress’s attempts to super­vise and under­stand the intri­cate details of FTX’s sig­nif­i­cant setback.

Gensler’s Historical Approach to Cryptocurrency Questions

This isn’t the first instance where Gensler has side­stepped ques­tions attempt­ing to pin­point the exact cat­e­go­riza­tion of cryp­tocur­ren­cy assets. More­over, while some glob­al nations are becom­ing more recep­tive to the cryp­to realm, the SEC remains unyield­ing in its rig­or­ous eval­u­a­tion of the bur­geon­ing industry.

The cur­rent price of Bit­coin at the time of writ­ing is $26,282.

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