Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chair Gary Gensler stated that he has never owned cryptocurrency or digital assets during an April 18 hearing.
SEC chair owns no crypto assets
When asked by Rep. Bryan Steil whether he held digital assets, Gensler said:
“I don’t own any crypto assets…[but] all of my securities holdings are actually digital because they’re held by a broker-dealer.”
Gensler denied owning digital assets many times over. He also noted that he had never owned Bitcoin. He additionally dismissed digital assets as “highly speculative.”
He later affirmed that he has a digital bank account and brokerage account, “but no crypto.”
Gensler was also asked whether members of his team or his subject matter experts own digital wallets or digital assets. Gensler answered that, to his knowledge and in accordance with ethics rules, those individuals do not own digital assets.
Gensler made those statements in response to Rep. Bryan Steil during a hearing in front of the U.S. House Financial Services Committee.
Concern has previously been raised about Gensler’s possible bias toward or against certain cryptocurrencies, as Gensler could selectively regulate assets.
However, Gensler’s distance from the crypto industry could be an issue as well. To that end, Steil accused Gensler of being “in the business … of making rules and regulations regarding digital assets” without personally owning any such assets.
Other lawmakers also questioned Gensler
Stein was just one House member to criticize Gensler during the hearing. Today’s hearing represents pushback from Republican lawmakers, who currently have a House majority.
Rep. Patrick McHenry pressed Gensler to clarify Ethereum’s status as a security. Meanwhile, Rep. Warren Davidson called for legislation that eliminates the position of SEC chair and removes Gensler from that position, as announced on April 17.
Republican lawmakers additionally condemned the SEC’s harsh approach to cryptocurrency regulation in a public letter. They said that Gensler’s SEC invites digital asset companies to register with it but ultimately provides no process for doing so.
While today’s hearing represents opposition from Republican lawmakers, members of the SEC and the crypto industry have made similar complaints.
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