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Gary Gensler Faces Congressional Grilling: Highlights and Lowlights

Congress grilled Gary Gensler, the SEC Chief, on various issues during a recent hearing.

by Alexander
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Representative Andy Barr criticized Gensler for imposing excessive regulatory red tape, likening him to Tonya Harding, who orchestrated an attack on her figure-skating rival in 1994. Barr argued that Gensler’s regulatory approach stifled innovation in the U.S. capital markets.

Calls for Removal by U.S. Representative Warren Davidson

Warren Davidson expressed his desire for the Biden administration to remove Gensler, accusing him of promoting a “woke” political agenda and overstepping his role as SEC Chair. Davidson hopes that the SEC Stabilization Act, co-introduced with Representative Tom Emmer, will facilitate Gensler’s removal.

When asked if Bitcoin is a security, Gensler cited the Howey Test and stated that Bitcoin doesn’t meet its criteria, implying it isn’t a security. However, he avoided confirming if it qualifies as a commodity, asserting it falls outside the scope of U.S. securities laws.

Ambiguity Surrounding Pokemon Trading Cards

Representative Ritchie Torres questioned whether buying physical Pokemon trading cards constitutes a securities transaction. Gensler’s initial response was vague, stating it depends on the context. When asked about tokenized Pokemon cards on a digital exchange via blockchain, Gensler remained noncommittal, stating he needed more information.

A Coinbase Logo Sparks Interest

Observant viewers noticed a Coinbase “Stand With Crypto” logo behind Gensler during the hearing. This logo represents a Coinbase-led campaign advocating for cryptocurrency legislation in the U.S., suggesting a sign of industry defiance amidst the regulatory discussions.

In this hearing, Gensler faced scrutiny over his regulatory approach, Bitcoin’s classification, and the ambiguity surrounding Pokemon trading cards. The cryptocurrency industry’s influence, as symbolized by the Coinbase logo, was palpable in the congressional debate.

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