Jay Clayton, Chairman of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has finished his term and it’s time a new chairman takes his place. According to anonymous sources familiar with the matter, newly elected U.S. President Joe Biden is set to appoint Gary Gensler, who formerly led the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) from 2009 to 2014.
Per a Reuters report, two unnamed sources have stated that Biden has decided on his final pick to head the SEC, which is Gary Gensler, a renowned figure in the crypto industry, especially in the academic area.
When Trump was in power, the former CFTC chief and Goldman Sachs executive taught courses about cryptocurrencies and blockchain at MIT Sloan School of Management. The sources have also revealed that Gensler could be targeting “tougher regulations,” raising concerns among Wall Street firms.
If Gensler comes into power, he’d also be heading the SEC’s legal battle with blockchain payments firm Ripple Inc. Prior to this, he was also leading Biden’s financial policy transition team in November, which was heightened his chances of being appointed the role of SEC chairman.
Based on previous statements made by Gensler, the SEC vs Ripple battle might have a negative impact on the blockchain company. During a speech at an MIT conference back in 2018, Gensler noted that XRP has a “strong case” of being classified as a security. He added that Ripple “is doing a lot to advance the value of XRP.”
Gensler on Crypto
Gensler was previously appointed during former president Barack Obama’s administration to oversee the CFTC, serving from 2009 to 2014. Back then, he has said that cryptocurrencies must be regulated in order for the industry to reach its full potential. He suggested that this would benefit crypto enthusiasts in case of market manipulation and solving problems like the loss of private keys.
In an op-ed for crypto media outlet Coindesk, Gensler wrote:
“The potential this technology to be a catalyst for change is real. I remain intrigued by [bitcoin creator] Satoshi’s innovation’s potential to spur change—either directly or indirectly as a catalyst.”
The crypto community has its fingers crossed about Gensler’s administration; however, according to ‘Crypto mom’ and SEC commissioner Hester Peirce, the SEC might take a “fresh look” at crypto regulations under Biden’s presidency.
Even though she hasn’t commented about Gensler being Biden’s choice to lead the SEC, she believes a new administration will lead to greater regulatory clarity for the crypto industry in 2021.