President-elect Joe Biden has officially named Gary Gensler as his pick for chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), confirming previous media reports.
Gensler was chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) from 2009 to 2014, and since November, he has led Biden's transition planning for financial industry oversight.
As the country's top securities regulator, Gensler, a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management, will oversee banks, brokers, public companies, as well as the crypto sector. Gensler would likely play a key role in considering a bitcoin exchange-traded fund, given revived efforts to launch one in the U.S. and institutional interest in such investment products.
Gensler, however, is no crypto enthusiast, as The Block's Mike Orcutt wrote in November. But he is blockchain savvy, having served as a senior advisor at the MIT Media Lab's Digital Currency Initiative. Gensler has also publicly commented on crypto projects, including the Facebook-backed Libra, now known as Diem.
Biden's other pick, Rohit Chopra, for director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, has also publicly commented on Libra in the past. Chopra currently serves as a commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission.