Gensler going after crypto with regulation threats and harassment lawsuits?
Despite approving Bitcoin ETFs, Gary Gensler is still attacking crypto.

Yet the Securities and Exchange Commission reluctantly allowed spot BTC funds only after court directives forced concessions hamstringing their framework.

Rather than embracing inroads for rational oversight through measured adoption, SEC Chairman Gary Gensler amplified antagonism in the aftermath. His sudden sanctions reflect unresolved opposition now retargeting crypto from oblique angles instead.

Gensler’s diplomatic yet devious dance as both crypto enabler and obstructor debates what equitable regulation should resemble when public safety intersects with permissionless innovation.

Begrudging Acceptance of Spot Bitcoin ETF Listings

Cryptocurrency advocates long pleaded for SEC approval of exchange-traded funds directly tracking Bitcoin itself instead of merely derivatives contracts. The benefits included simpler exposure, trusted custody, and transparency controls that expanded investor participation.

But applications submitted faced automatic rejection from a hesitant SEC concerned crypto markets still posed dangers lacking their comprehensive regulatory grasp. A lawsuit filed against the SEC challenged this stance however:

“The court ruled the SEC was being hypocritical allowing Bitcoin futures ETFs but not spot price vehicles - forcing their hand approving options.”

So a begrudging SEC had to facilitate requested Bitcoin ETFs in late 2021. But remarks from Gary Gensler signaled lingering skepticism rather than progressive transition:

“I look forward to staff’s review of Bitcoin ETF filings but urge investors understand associated risks as crypto brings elevated volatility and manipulated markets.”SEC Chairman, Gary Gensler

The atypical ETF approval accompanied by investment warnings revealed Gensler’s shaky embrace still obstructing mainstream adoption channels.

Strategic Exploitation of Murky Disclosure Rules

Part of the compromised approval came saddled with disclosure guidelines from SEC Regulation Best Interest rules enacted in 2019 that sought to govern investment adviser conduct around appropriate fiduciary standards.

These included principles like ensuring:

  • Sufficient risk disclosures
  • Documenting know-your-customer diligence
  • Acting in best interest of market participants

But fuzzy boundaries around satisfying abstract SEC duties introduced liability fears for financial advisers:

"We can't confidently recommend spot Bitcoin ETFs without further guidance given compliance gray areas. Just too risky," noted Vanguard executives to clients.

Rather than clarify expectations, Gensler fueled worst-case assumptions allowing FUD to hinder adoption.

And unpredictability bred through opaque rule sets grants the SEC flexible pretext to retroactively vilify market participants for perceived statutory violations. This grants draconian influence without democratic checks on scope creep.

Crypto Industry Faces Extortionate Strong-Arming

Far from good faith governance, recent actions from Gary Gensler verge on extortionate deterrence suppressing sector growth through intimidation flanking the forced Bitcoin ETF clearances.

Additional anti-crypto policies float constant uncertainty headphones around operator viability:

  • Threats to 75%+ cryptos as unregistered securities bringing stringent issuance rules
  • Classifying DeFi protocols as unlawful investment companies ending permissionless composability

And direct sanctions already target prominent crypto companies:

Ongoing 2022/2023 Lawsuits & Investigations

  • Kraken: Charged with illegal securities offerings
  • Paxos: Ordered to cease BUSD stablecoin issuance
  • Coinbase: Faces contempt over lending product
  • Gemini: Battle over earn program interest rates

This full frontal assault expands daily signaling hostilities between regulators and growth. But questions remain whether these actions intend harming crypto itself or rather reinforcing bureaucratic relevance amidst technological shifts decrementing archaic gatekeeping.

Outlook: Sensible Oversight or Autocratic Power Grab?

Reviewing escalating SEC retaliation gravitating around the flashpoint of Bitcoin ETF approvals frames two possibilities:

  1. Gensler embraces stricter guidelines and punitive measures as necessary consumer protections given crypto sector volatility and risks seen already.
  2. He tactically abuses broad authority to compel industry compliance on his terms through intimidation clamping innovation first, asking questions later.

Neither polarization likely captures nuance accurately for all sides and tradeoffs in complex debates balancing oversight with permissionless progress.

But the chilling effects from ongoing SEC confrontation risks blocking America from digital asset leadership just as clampdowns on internet firms would have hindered revolutionary growth.

Hope lies in moderation compromising extremes. But Gensler must curb contemptuous tendencies leaving toxic uncertainty around what constitutes compliant crypto infrastructure if good faith retention of entrepreneurs matters beyond personal legacy.

The confuse-then-accuse tactics hint at motives beyond pragmatic policymaking. So the true motives demand scrutiny matching the overreaches.