Gary Gensler's four-year-old Algorand remarks draw crypto Twitter's ire after SEC suit

Quick Take

  • After the Securities and Exchange Commission named Algorand’s token as a security on Monday, crypto Twitter’s talking heads were quick to highlight a video of Gary Gensler describing the blockchain as a “great technology.”
  • The comments came from a 50-minute lecture Gensler gave four years ago while teaching at MIT. 

After yesterday's U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission lawsuit named Algorand's token as a security, commentators on crypto Twitter were quick to jump on a video of Chair Gary Gensler describing the blockchain as a "great technology."

With Algorand getting a namecheck in the SEC's case against crypto exchange Bittrex, several prominent Twitter accounts pointed to comments Gensler made in a previous life when a lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management. 

Gensler's 50-minute lecture from April 2019 is a wide-ranging talk on topics from the disruptive potential of fintech to large financial firms' adoption of crypto. Yet it was his remarks, in response to an audience question, that Algorand founder Silvio Micali "has a great technology, the best performance, you could create Uber on top of it" that prompted multiple accusations from Twitter cognoscenti that he was "shilling" the token.

The SEC didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Gensler's actions against crypto firms

Gensler has become a bogey man for many in the crypto industry since taking on the role of SEC Chair in 2021. On his watch, the regulator has brought cases against crypto firms including Terraform Labs and Paxos and celebrities like Kim Kardashian who received payment to promote crypto projects. 


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Gensler will face questions from the House Financial Services Committee today on his approach to regulation.

The SEC's suit against Bittrex and its co-founder and former CEO William Shihara, unveiled on Monday, accuses it of operating as an unregistered securities exchange. It cites internal messages detailing the delisting of tokens and removal of marketing statements in an effort to cover up that Bittrex helped sell tokens it knew could qualify as security investments under U.S. law.

Algorand is a proof-of-stake Layer 1 blockchain that pitches itself as "the leading smart contract platform where sophisticated dApps are built on top of a fast, secure, scalable and sustainable platform." 

Algorand's price is down 1.4% to $0.224 over the past 24 hours, according to Coingecko data. 

© 2023 The Block. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

About Author

Andrew Rummer is executive editor for The Block Pro, based in London. He was previously managing editor at Bloomberg News and led special projects at Finimize. He has a degree in engineering from the University of Oxford. Follow him on Twitter at @AJRummer.


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Larry DiTore at
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