Cryptocurrency lawyers have rebuffed comments made by the head of the United States securities regulator, claiming in a recent interview that every cryptocurrency except Bitcoin (BTC) is a security that falls under its jurisdiction.
In a wide-ranging Feb. 23 New York Magazine interview discussing crypto, the chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Gary Gensler, claimed “everything other than Bitcoin” falls under the agency’s remit.
He added other crypto projects “are securities because there’s a group in the middle and the public is anticipating profits based on that group” which he said is not the case with Bitcoin.
Gensler in @NYMag on crypto:
-everything is a security except bitcoin
-every company out there is in violation
-crypto is pointless but blockchain is kinda neat
Hard to argue you’re acting in good faith if admittedly trying to stamp out an entire industry. pic.twitter.com/Ozw8ZJ3ETO
— Alexander Grieve (@AlexanderGrieve) February 26, 2023
Jake Chervinsky, a lawyer and policy lead at Blockchain Association, a crypto advocacy group, however argued in a Feb. 26 tweet that Gensler’s “opinion is not the law” despite his claimed command over the crypto sector.
Chair Gensler may have prejudged that every digital asset aside from bitcoin is a security, but his opinion is not the law. The SEC lacks authority to regulate any of them until and unless it proves its case in court. For each asset, every single one, individually, one at a time.
— Jake Chervinsky (@jchervinsky) February 26, 2023
He added “until and unless” the SEC “proves its case in court” for its jurisdiction over each individual token “one at a time” then it “lacks authority to regulate any of them.”
Lawyer Logan Bolinger also chimed into the issue, tweeting on Feb. 26 “that Gensler’s opinions on what is or isn’t a security are not legally dispositive” — meaning it’s not the final legal determination.
Friendly reminder that Gensler’s opinions on what is or isn’t a security are not legally dispositive.
In this country, judges – not SEC chairs – ultimately determine what the law means and how it applies.
Doesn’t mean his thoughts are irrelevant. They’re just not dispositive.
— Logan Bolinger (@TheWhyOfFI) February 26, 2023
“Judges — not SEC chairs — ultimately determine what the law means and how it applies” Bolinger added.
The policy lead at advocacy body Bitcoin Policy Institute, Jason Brett, said Gensler’s…
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