US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Gary Gensler reiterated that Bitcoin is not a "security" and refrained from characterizing the cryptocurrency as a "commodity".

Gensler responded to the questions and criticisms of the representatives in the session held at the US House of Representatives Financial Services Committee, which lasted about 4.5 hours.

Committee Chairman Republican Representative Patrick McHenry harshly criticized Gensler, claiming that the SEC's current approach to rulemaking jeopardizes the integrity of financial markets and puts investors at risk.

Noting the need for comprehensive economic analysis of the proposed rules and their interactions with each other, McHenry said that they have not received any non-public documents from the SEC in the period since the Committee requested documents in February.

Congressman Tom Emmer, known for his supportive approach to the crypto sector, used harsh statements about Gensler, claiming that Gensler "attacked" the crypto industry and "harmed the competitive industry for his own desires and personal purposes."

Congressman Warren Davidson also spoke against Gensler, saying, "I wish the Biden administration had fired you."


SEC Chairman Gensler reiterated that Bitcoin is not a "security", while refraining from characterizing the cryptocurrency as a "commodity".

Stating that the crypto industry is full of "fraud, manipulation and dishonesty" and that investors are harmed by the incompatibility in this area, Gensler reminded that they have filed numerous lawsuits on this issue to protect the American people.

Gensler also answered the question about the SEC's decision to reject crypto asset management company Grayscale's spot Bitcoin ETF application, arguing that "an ETF based on Bitcoin lacks sufficient oversight".

Gensler, who did not give a clear answer on this issue, stated that the evaluation process for the court decision on the Bitcoin ETF application is ongoing.


Gensler stated that 92-93 percent of their approximately 5 thousand employees will be on leave in the event of a possible shutdown of the federal government in the US, and that the number of employees will be reduced to a "skeleton" staff.

Pointing out that there will not be an institution that will supervise the market with full power during this period, Gensler stated that whistleblowing, complaint and referral lines will remain open.

Noting that the shutdown will also prevent companies from being approved to go public, Gensler said companies should take action before Friday if they decide to go public or increase their offerings.

Regarding the rule that will require publicly traded companies to disclose detailed emissions data and climate risk strategies, Gensler said that the SEC is not a regulator on climate, but that they are responsible for ensuring that publicly traded companies make truthful disclosures.

Gensler stated that he believes that technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning are transformative, but argued that conflict is likely to occur due to robot investment advisors and intermediaries "putting their own interests ahead of the interests of investors".


Prior to the hearing, Republicans on the Committee sent a letter to Gensler asking for consideration of stakeholder feedback on the SEC's regulatory agenda.

The Republican representatives requested that the SEC halt the finalization and implementation of the rules until the impacts are assessed and sufficient time is allowed for compliance.

On the other hand, some representatives urged SEC Chairman Gensler to approve spot Bitcoin ETF applications.