Amid the crypto industry’s usual endeavors, Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple, has recently voiced strong criticism against Gary Gensler, the Chairman of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Garlinghouse’s remarks, which labeled Gensler as a “political liability,” reflect growing frustration within the crypto industry regarding the SEC’s “track record” towards regulation.
Garlinghouse Challenges Gensler Over Crypto Oversight
This critique centers around Gensler’s handling of various aspects of the industry, including the long-awaited approval of spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in the US and the SEC’s aggressive legal stance against certain crypto companies, including Ripple.
Garlinghouse’s comments underscore a deepening rift between this country’s crypto sector and regulatory authorities. Garlinghouse stated in a public appearance:
I do think the chair of the SEC, Gary Gensler, is a political liability in the United States. And I think he’s not acting in the interests of the citizenry, he’s not acting in the interests of the long-term growth of the economy, and I don’t understand it.
He further expressed hope for a future change in leadership at the SEC, believing it would benefit the people of the United States.
Gensler’s Stance On Bitcoin And Spot ETF Approval
The tension between Ripple’s CEO and the SEC chairman follows recent developments, including the regulator’s loss against the payment company over their sale of the XRP token. In a recent CNBC interview, Gensler’s comments about the spot Bitcoin ETFs and his views on the cryptocurrency raised concerns.
While acknowledging the spot ETF approvals, Gensler maintained that the SEC’s endorsement does not extend to Bitcoin, describing it as a “speculative and volatile asset” primarily used for “illicit activities and money laundering.”
This portrayal of Bitcoin by Gensler sparked debate, with CNBC interviewer Joe Kernen highlighting the lower use of Bitcoin in illicit activities compared to traditional currencies like the US dollar.
Gensler’s response, however, focused on concerns about the centralization emerging in the Bitcoin market, a deviation from the decentralized ethos envisaged by Bitcoin’s creator, Satoshi Nakamoto. He argued that integrating Bitcoin into traditional financial systems via ETFs contributes to this centralization.
These spot ETFs are approved after the SEC’s legal battle with Grayscale, a digital asset manager, over a spot Bitcoin ETF application. Garlinghouse commented on the SEC’s repeated legal challenges against the crypto industry, criticizing Gensler’s approach:
One of the definitions of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome. I think Gary Gensler is doing the same thing over and over again, and he thinks that somehow he’s going to win in court. He has continued to lose in court.
As the first US spot ETFs holding Bitcoin directly made a notable debut in the market last Thursday, Grayscale led the pack with a significant trade volume, followed closely by BlackRock and Fidelity.
Despite the ongoing regulatory challenges and debates, this development indicates a growing interest and involvement of major financial players in the crypto market.
Featured image from Unsplash, Chart from TradingView