SEC, Gensler, and Crypto

Oct 17, 2022

Gary Gensler is the chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Before he was appointed, he was a professor at MIT's Sloan Business School. He taught Blockchain and Money from 2018-2019.

The lectures and course notes are publicly available and provide insight into Gensler's thoughts on crypto. Some observations:

Gensler is sharp when it comes to crypto – even in a class for business school students (not always the most technical), he's able to distill the complex topics and portray them accurately. He predicted the rise of layer 2 networks, zkRollups, and other scaling solutions. On the other hand, he talks at length about permissioned blockchains, which were popular in the 2018 vintage but never materialized.

He talks at length about the tradeoffs and drawbacks of blockchains, specifically focusing on the problems of

  • Performance and scalability
  • Privacy and security
  • Interoperability with legacy systems
  • Governance

Maybe most of all, he's pragmatic about the technology and where he believes it should be regulated.

You can read the lecture slides here or watch the lectures on YouTube. They are generally accessible to a non-technical audience.