The US Senate has confirmed Gary Gensler as the next SEC chair. Gensler was nominated by President Joe Biden in January and becomes the 33rd Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. The new SEC chair has a host of agendas, running from the GameStop frenzy, Archegos fiasco and Bitcoin ETFs. On top of his agenda will be the case against Ripple, a case that the SEC is currently losing and that is set to reveal the new administration’s position in regards to cryptocurrencies.
Gary Gensler previously served as the chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. He oversaw regulations around derivatives markets. Being involved with the markets from as far back as the 2008 financial crisis, Gensler has his own views about cryptocurrencies, and it isn’t good for Ripple.
As a private citizen, Gensler has previously called XRP non-compliant security. He has further added that other initial coin offerings might have violated U.S. securities laws. This suggests that he might go after other cryptocurrencies while doubling down on the current Ripple case.
More recently in a confirmation hearing, Gensler went on to call cryptocurrencies catalysts for change. The new Chair sounded optimistic but cautious, stating,
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have brought new thinking to payments and financial inclusion, but they’ve also raised new issues of investor protection that we still need to attend to.
The case between the SEC and Ripple is a high-profile one. In the latest court motion, CEO Brad Garlinghouse and chairman Chris Larsen have filed to have the case dismissed. With cryptocurrencies currently enjoying mainstream publicity, it could end up embarrassing the SEC. Gensler will be keen not to be handed a court loss in his first weeks in office. A settlement might be the only to save face.
Ripple open to settlement
Brad Garlinghouse has in a recent interview with Bloomberg expressed his desire to sit down with the new administration. Speaking prior to the confirmation, the Ripple CEO said he would revisit a settlement conversation. Ripple and the previous SEC administration had dismissed this.
However, Garlinghouse was clear that his company was ready to fight the case vigorously. He further added that he believed this was not only an attack on XRP but the wider cryptocurrency industry at large.
On its part, the XRP community has already filed a petition asking Gensler to drop the case against Ripple. Petitioners accused the SEC of making up rules and called for the watchdog to write clear rules with input from Congress and the public.
XRP price falls short of $2
In the last few weeks, XRP has been a top performer propelled by positive court developments. In the last 7 days, XRP has gained more than 80%. This has seen the coin climb as high as fourth in crypto rankings. But in the last 24 hours, the coin has fallen short. After climbing as high as $1.96, the digital asset was unable to break the $2 resistance. A retracement has followed and at the time of press, XRP is exchanging for $1.76, marking a 10% drop.