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Gary Gensler Says Bitcoin Is Real

Gary Gensler, the new Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair, validated the invention and legacy of bitcoin in his first speech on the subject on August 3. Speaking about his most recent time as Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) professor of the practice of global economics and senior advisor to the MIT Digital Currency Initiative, Gensler said, “…I came to believe that, though there was a lot of hype masquerading as reality in the crypto field, Nakamoto’s innovation is real. Further, it has been and could continue to be a catalyst for change in the fields of finance and money.”

Gensler is well known in the financial industry for his time from 2009-2014 as the former Commodity and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chair, where he developed the regulation of derivatives at the agency after the Global Financial Crisis. As a successful Goldman Sachs investment banker for two decades, Gensler had served as a key member of the Biden transition team where he helped map out plans for U.S. financial regulators.

The speech at the Aspen Security Institute came just days after the Senate garnered national attention over debate on IRS tax-reporting requirements for digital currencies and a new bill in the U.S. House of Representatives. Just days after Gensler’s pronouncements on bitcoin and the industry, an SEC enforcement action against Poloniex for operating as an “unregulated digital asset exchange” made clear there was a new sheriff in the town of cypherpunks.

Riddle Me This, Nakamoto

As a mainstream thought leader in the financial services industry, Gensler cemented the critical importance of bitcoin to the future implications of global financial markets in his speech. Proving his deep understanding of both the technology and the historical context, Gensler proclaimed, “Nakamoto had solved two riddles that had dogged these cryptographers and other technology experts for a couple of decades: first, how to move something of va...

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