Man Who Couldn’t Work A BlackBerry Now Teaching Blockchain

That's Professor Gary Gensler of MIT, thank you very much.
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By US government [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By US government [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Back when Republicans pretended to care about public servants and elected officials using personal communication devices, Gary Gensler got into a little bit of trouble for using his Yahoo! account to send e-mails from home. And while the current president of the United States is doing so to stick it to his chief-of-staff/dad, the former CFTC chairman had a more innocent explanation: He just couldn’t figure out how to use these newfangled BlackBerry things.

Well, ever since escaping Washington, Gary’s apparently gotten up to speed on things technological, because he’s got a new job.

Mr. Gensler, 60, has recently gone to work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he will write and teach about the potential he sees for blockchains to change the financial world….

Mr. Gensler has a dual appointment as a special adviser to the Media Lab and a senior lecturer at the M.I.T. Sloan School of Management, where he will teach a class on the blockchain in the fall.

But don’t worry, Senator Warren! The old Gary—by which we mean the hard-ass regulator and not the former Goldman Sachs partner—is still in there.

“There is a strong case for both of them — but particularly Ripple — that they are noncompliant securities,” he said in an interview. He believes Bitcoin, the original virtual currency, can remain exempt from securities regulations…. Mr. Gensler said it would be much harder for the Ripple token, known as XRP, to avoid being categorized as a security. The company that oversees Ripple’s development still holds most of the XRP tokens and does most of the work to make the software and the token valuable, he said….

“I would be surprised if 10 years from now this isn’t somewhere in the financial system in a meaningful way,” he said. “But so much of the stuff that is being promoted now will not be around.”

A Former Top Wall Street Regulator Turns to the Blockchain [NYT]

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