President Biden’s pick to run the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission says Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are triggering transformational change in the world of finance.

In a Senate confirmation hearing, Gary Gensler told lawmakers that Bitcoin and crypto assets are paving the way for a new financial era, and regulators must ensure investors are safe.

“These innovations have been a catalyst for change. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have brought new thinking to payments and financial inclusion, but they’ve also raised new issues of investor protection that we still need to attend to.” 

Gensler also sheds light on how he plans to deal with digital assets if he is confirmed to lead the SEC.

“I’d work with fellow commissioners to both promote the new innovation, but also at the core, ensure for investor protection.

If something were a security, for instance, it comes under the securities laws, comes under the SEC. If there are exchanges that trade those, to ensure that there’s the appropriate investor protection on those exchanges, so promote technology but still stay true to our core values of investor protection and capital formation.”

As SEC chair, Gensler will have to oversee any cryptocurrencies considered to be securities.

As early as 2018, he stated that there was a “strong case” that XRP is a security, and says Bitcoin doesn’t fall into the same category.

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