Gensler: Only Bitcoin is a Commodity

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  • SEC Chair Gary Gensler has reaffirmed that Bitcoin is not a security
  • Gensler told Mad Money that only Bitcoin could be sure of being classed as a commodity
  • Gensler has infuriated crypto projects with his lack of transparency over crypto securities

The head of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Gary Gensler has said that only Bitcoin can be classed as a commodity, becoming the second SEC chair to offer that opinion. In speaking to Mad Money host Jim Cramer, Gensler hinted that others might be considered in the same boat but refused to name them, being only prepared to confirm what prior incumbent Jay Clayton said, in that only Bitcoin is absolutely not a security.

Gensler Confirms Bitcoin’s Classification as Commodity

Gensler has of course been the most crypto-active SEC head, regularly commenting on the sector and promising stringent action to cut down on the negative practices in the space. However, this has not yet involved offering absolute clarity on what constitutes a security in cryptocurrency terms, which has led to frustration for project creators who want to toe the line.

In the interview Cramer asked Gensler about his thoughts on the volatility of the crypto markets, with the SEC man saying that in many ways the goal was no different than with other financial assets – to make money. Gensler said that the crypto asset class is a “highly speculative” one with “ups and downs”, but that at the end of the day all anyone wants is a nice return, “just like when they invest in other financial assets” that they suspect might be securities.

Gensler reaffirmed his position that many financial crypto assets have “the key attributes of a security” but added that “some, like bitcoin, and that’s the only one I’m going to say … are commodities.” This adds weight to Bitcoin’s claims to be the only absolutely safe cryptocurrency when it comes to SEC action, with even other established names such as Ethereum potentially still in the firing line.

Jury Out for the 13,000 Other Coins

Almost two years ago this week, former SEC chair Clayton said that in his opinion cryptocurrencies were “replacements for sovereign currencies…[they] replace the yen, the dollar, the euro with bitcoin. That type of currency is not a security.”

With Gensler’s blessing on top, it will be very hard for anyone to claim otherwise and try to treat Bitcoin as a security in any context. As for the 13,000…let’s wait and see.