In a Friday appearance on CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” Gary Gensler, the chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) admitted that Bitcoin was a “store of value” despite its volatility.
Gensler, who was newly appointed as the head of the agency opined that “many” cryptocurrency tokens were securities. He remarked:
To the extent that something is a security, the SEC has a lot of authority. And a lot of crypto tokens—I won't call them cryptocurrencies for this moment—are indeed securities.
Gensler’s statement implies that the financial watchdog could start going after several cryptocurrencies. Recall that the agency already has an ongoing battle with Ripple Inc. for selling unregistered securities.
This is not the first time that the SEC is going after crypto companies that it considers might have sold unregistered securities. While some have been slammed with hefty fines, others were simply forced to leave the U.S.
With Gensler as the new head of the SEC, the crypto community celebrated for a while considering his portfolio as blockchain tech and digital asset educator at MIT. However, back in 2018, he said that Ethereum and Ripple’s XRP could both be considered as an unregistered security.
Speaking about Bitcoin, Gensler described the leading cryptocurrency as scarce and “highly volatile.” He said:
It's a digital, scarce store of value, but highly volatile.
He also said that Bitcoin was not considered a security.