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Congressmen Slam SEC’s Gary Gensler as ‘Tonya Harding’ For Kneecapping Crypto Industry, Say He Should Be Fired For Regulation Blizzard

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SEC Chair Gary Gensler
SEC Chair Gary Gensler

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A congressman likened Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) Chair Gary Gensler to infamous figure skater Tonya Harding for ”kneecapping” the crypto industry with a blizzard of regulation and lawsuits and another said he he should be fired.

The comments came as Gensler appeared before the House Financial Services Committee yesterday. Rep Andy Barr likened him to Harding, who paid an attacker to assault main rival Nancy Kerrigan in 1994  to prevent her competing in the Winter Olympics, while Rep. Warren Davidson accused him of abusing his power and said he should be dismissed.

“If the U.S. capital markets are a gold medalist, you are the Tonya Harding of securities regulation because you are kneecapping the U.S. capital markets with the avalanche of red tape coming out of your commission,” Barr said.

Davidson said Gensler’s approach to regulation was creating a hostile environment that was driving companies and capital out of the US market.

He added that he hoped the Biden administration would fire Gensler, but because that isn’t possible added that he hoped the SEC Stabilization Act he has proposed would be adopted, leading to the removal of the SEC Chairperson role.

Gary Gensler Testimony: Bitcoin Is Not A Security 

Throughout his testimony in front of Congress, Gensler maintained his combative stance towards the crypto industry. He avoided and refused to respond to the most pressing concerns of the sector and claimed that companies that deal in digital assets have been dangerously negligent with client assets.

Gensler also continued to criticize how cryptocurrency businesses handle their customers’ assets, claiming that mixing assets “is a recipe that’s not led to good results.”

When asked by U.S. House Committee on Financial Services chair Patrick McHenry whether Bitcoin is a security, Gensler, after first dodging the question, in the end said  that Bitcoin didn’t meet the Howey Test and thus isn’t a security.


SEC Yet To Decide on Spot Bitcoin ETFs

The hearing also addressed the impending government shutdown and how the SEC will oversee the crypto industry business during the period.

Gensler stated that the SEC is preparing for the looming government shutdown that might occur next week. During that time, the agency’s chairman claimed that the SEC would suffer a reduction of more than 90% in the workforce, reducing their ability to continue working on cases and applications.

“Senior leadership would be there, but we’d be down to a skeletal staff,” he said, suggesting that the day-to-day reviews and approvals of SEC filings will be significantly slowed.

This might have been a reference to the early notice of the extension of the deadline to approve the spot Bitcoin ETF application made by Ark 21Shares as well as Global X, which was issued weeks before the initial deadline.

Concerning the spot Bitcoin ETF applications, Gensler told Congress that the agency was yet to decide what to do about a judge’s ruling that forced the SEC to rethink its position. “It’s still an active consideration of the commission,” Gensler said in his testimony. “We have great respect for the courts.”

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