The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) now has a new chairman, Gary Gensler. President Joe Biden’s pick, the MIT professor, whose classes included blockchain technology, digital currencies, and financial technology, has been confirmed by the Senate to lead the SEC.
SEC Has a New Chairman
President Joe Biden’s pick to lead the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Gary Gensler, has been confirmed by the Senate as the new chairman of the top financial regulator. The Senate voted 53-45 on Wednesday to confirm his nomination.
The four commissioners at the SEC released a statement welcoming the agency’s new chairman, stating:
A warm congratulations to Gary Gensler on his Senate confirmation to become Chair of the SEC … We welcome him back to public service and look forward to working together to execute our vital mission.
Gensler is a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management, where he is also a co-director of Fintech@CSAIL and a senior advisor to the MIT Media Lab Digital Currency Initiative. He taught blockchain technology, digital currencies, financial technology, and public policy.
A former Goldman Sachs executive, Gensler also served as the chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) from May 2009 to January 2014.
In March, the MIT professor revealed his policies on bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies during his confirmation hearing before the Senate banking committee. He said “these innovations have been a catalyst for change,” noting that “if confirmed at the SEC, I’d work with fellow commissioners to promote new innovation but also, at the core, ensure investor protection.”
With his deep knowledge of cryptocurrency, many people believe that under his leadership, the commission will finally approve a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) this year. SEC Commission Hester Peirce is hopeful that with Gensler as chairman, the SEC can “build a good regulatory framework” suitable for the cryptocurrency market.
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