A four-year-old video of United States Securities an Exchange Commission (SEC) chair Gary Genser giving praise to smart contract platform Algorand (ALGO) is circulating on Twitter following the SEC declaring ALGO is an unregistered security.
In the video, Gensler referred to Algorand as a “great technology” while he was contemplating whether a “high performance” smart contract network would be capable of integrating an Uber or Lyft-like application on its platform.
ALGO is one of six tokens that Gensler claimed was an unregistered security in the SEC’s lawsuit against crypto trading platform Bittrex on April 17 that took issue with the Algorand Foundation’s initial coin offering (ICO) of ALGO in June 2019.
Cryptocurrency researcher Mason Versluis was one of the first to highlight the video in an April 17 tweet criticizing Gensler for “shilling” ALGO, with others calling out the SEC chair for his apparent hypocrisy.
Gary Gensler was SHILLING $ALGO and now he’s trying to call it a security.
This dude is all over the place, and he’s gotta go ➡️ pic.twitter.com/JmpL9xAZhq
— MASON VERSLUIS (@MasonVersluis) April 17, 2023
Gensler’s praise of Algorand was heard by an audience at a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) “Fintech Beyond Crisis” conference held on April 25, 2019.
Gensler worked as a Professor of Global Economics and Management at MIT prior to becoming the SEC’s chair, he acknowledged former MIT colleague and Algorand founder Silvio Micali in the speech — who appeared to be in the crowd.
The video sparked Cinneamhain Ventures partner Adam Cochran to question the long-standing advice from Gensler for crypto firms to register with the regulator.
Surely if there is a path to register, a world renown MIT professor who personally knows the Chairman of the SEC can figure it out, or pick up the phone and call the Chairman…
— Adam Cochran (adamscochran.eth) (@adamscochran) April 17, 2023
“Surely if there is a path to register, a world renown MIT professor who personally knows the Chairman of the SEC can figure it out,” Cochran tweeted on April 17.
Fox Business reporter Eleanor Terrett expects Gensler to be questioned over his Algorand comments in his upcoming testimony before the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services on April 18.
Other critics choose to mock the situation at hand, highlighting the price decline of ALGO which has seen a 93.8% decline since its launch according to CoinGecko data.
If you bought $100 of Algorand when Gensler told you they could build Uber on it you would now have $5
— db (@tier10k) April 17, 2023
It should be noted that ALGO didn’t hit the market until late June 2019, two months after Gensler’s speech.
Related: Coinbase and Algorand give divergent reasons for staking reward suspension
Gensler stated in an April 17 tweet that it has been an “honor” to work at the SEC over the last two years and chose to highlight the 1,500 enforcement actions the regulator has undertaken since he’s been at the helm.
Serving at the @SECGov for two years has been an honor.
We’ve filed 1,500 enforcement actions & overseen tens of thousands of registrants.
We’ve proposed rules to make our markets more efficient, competitive, transparent, resilient—and worthy of the public’s trust.
— Gary Gensler (@GaryGensler) April 17, 2023
Gensler was sworn into office as SEC chair on April 17, 2021, after U.S. President Joe Biden’s nomination of Gensler was confirmed by the Senate on April 14, 2021.
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