A new video has surfaced showing future Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gensler telling an audience of institutional investors that four cryptocurrencies are not securities and that 75% of the overall crypto market at the era was outside this legal category.
The video is from a crypto-themed institutional investor event hosted by Bloomberg and Fidelity in 2018, and it shows Gensler expressing sentiments that seem to contradict his more recent suggestions that all cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin are titles. You can watch the corresponding clip above.
“Over 70% of the crypto market is Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash. Why did I name these four? These are not titles,” Gensler told the audience. “Three quarters of this market (of digital assets) are not securities.”
The remarks came at a time when the crypto was in the midst of a bull market and preceded Gensler’s appointment as SEC chairman by just over two years. For the Bloomberg event, Gensler is identified as a lecturer at MIT and former chairman of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission.
Other videos have surfaced since Gensler’s time at MIT that show him declaring that Ethereum is not a security. This video is arguably more significant as it shows the current SEC Chairman providing advice to hedge funds and other investors on the legal status of the crypto market.
Crypto lawyer Preston Byrne has already noted that Gensler’s comments in 2018 came in a personal capacity and not as a government official, and therefore are not material to the SEC’s current legal position. Nonetheless, the comments are likely to anger the crypto industry and many cryptocurrency owners, who argue that Gensler failed to provide advice on the legality of specific tokens before embarking on what many have. called a “regulation-by-enforcement strategy”.
The most recent phase of Gensler’s crackdown came last week when the SEC sued major crypto exchanges Binance and Coinbase for violating securities laws. In its legal complaints, the agency first identified 13 cryptocurrencies, including major ones like Solana, Cardano and Polygon, as securities for the first time.
While Gensler recently declined to say that Ethereum is not a security, the SEC has so far remained silent on the other non-Bitcoin currencies cited in Bloomberg’s speech. One of them, Litecoin, is an early competitor to Bitcoin launched in 2011, while Bitcoin Cash was a so-called fork of the original cryptocurrency that achieved lightning success when it launched in 2017. , but has since lost relevance. .
Gensler’s comments on the four non-securities cryptocurrencies came as part of a much larger speech in which he described the dynamics of the crypto market and warned that many recently launched blockchains were pure scams. The now SEC chairman was introduced at the event as “my friend Gary Gensler” by Mike Novogratz, a hedge fund billionaire who manages the Galaxy crypto fund.
The SEC did not immediately respond to a request for comment on any potential conflicts between Gensler’s 2018 remarks and the agency’s current legal position.
Learn about all things crypto with short, easy-to-read lesson cards. Click here for Fortune’s introductory cryptography course.