Gary Gensler’s old pro-Algorand video ignites debate amid unregistered security claims
Experts expect Gary Gensler to be questioned over his comments by the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) came under fire after declaring Algorand (ALGO) unregistered security — despite SEC Chair Gary Gensler “shilling” the cryptocurrency in a video from four years ago that has resurfaced on Twitter.
In the video, Gensler praised Algorand as a “great technology” and considered the possibility of integrating an Uber or Lyft-like application on its platform.
However, in the SEC’s April 17 lawsuit against cryptocurrency trading platform Bittrex, Algorand was one of six tokens accused of being an unregistered security.
Crypto Twitter accuses SEC of contradictory actions
The controversy has led to accusations of hypocrisy from members of the cryptocurrency community, with some pointing out the apparent inconsistency in the SEC’s actions towards Algorand and Bittrex.
Algorand was created by a personal friend of the SEC’s former director of corporate finance, William Hinman — which has further fueled speculation about the motives behind the SEC’s recent actions.
Mason Versluis, a cryptocurrency researcher, was among the first to bring the video to attention on April 17 with a tweet accusing Gensler of promoting ALGO — while others in the crypto community have called out the SEC chair for what they see as contradictory actions.
During the “Fintech Beyond Crisis” conference on April 25, 2019, Gary Gensler expressed his admiration for Algorand when addressing the audience at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
The video has led Adam Cochran, a partner at Cinneamhain Ventures, to raise doubts about the effectiveness of Gensler’s advice for crypto companies to register with the SEC. Cochran’s comments highlight the apparent inconsistency between Gensler’s previous praise for Algorand’s technology and the recent declaration by the SEC that ALGO is an unregistered security. He tweeted:
“Now I can’t help but be astonished that Gary thinks “come in and register because we have clear rules” can apply here? Because he is proposing that either this industry thinks it can ignore the rules or that it doesn’t understand the rules.