The host of CNBC’s Mad Money show, Jim Cramer, has thanked the chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Gary Gensler, for not approving a spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). Cramer is a former hedge fund manager who co-founded Thestreet.com, a financial news and literacy website.
The Mad Money host tweeted Friday:
Thank you, SEC Chief Gary Gensler for standing up to the crypto bullies who wanted an ETF. They could have been blown to kingdom come by Genesis Global, now filing for bankruptcy.
Crypto lender Genesis Global Capital LLC is part of a subsidiary of venture capital firm Digital Currency Group (DCG). Genesis filed for bankruptcy following an SEC lawsuit alleging that the company and crypto exchange Gemini offered and sold unregistered securities to retail investors through the Gemini Earn crypto asset lending program.
Another DCG subsidiary is digital asset manager Grayscale Investments, which has been trying to convert its flagship Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) into a spot bitcoin ETF. However, the securities watchdog has not approved the company’s filing. In June last year, Grayscale filed a lawsuit against the SEC challenging the regulator’s decision to reject its bitcoin ETF application.
In addition, Bloomberg reported earlier this month that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)’s Eastern District of New York and the SEC are investigating internal transfers between Genesis and DCG.
Many People Disagree With Cramer
Many bitcoin proponents on Twitter disagreed with the Mad Money host. Lawyer John Deaton wrote: “So anyone who favored a spot BTC ETF is a bully? Cramer believes people were protected by Gary Gensler NOT granting a spot ETF, even though BTC futures and short ETFs exist. These companies didn’t get in trouble because of bitcoin.” ETF Store President Nate Geraci opined:
I would argue exact opposite… SEC failing to approve spot ETF led to rise of GBTC arbitrage trade (where large accredited investors took advantage of retail). Meaningful portion of Genesis solvency issues stem from lending to 3AC, etc to execute that arbitrage trade (which blew up).
Cramer has repeatedly warned about the SEC doing a “roundup” of uncompliant crypto firms, advising investors to get out of crypto now. “I wouldn’t touch crypto in a million years,” the Mad Money host stressed. He often cited John Reed Stark, SEC’s former head of internet enforcement, who recently said a “regulatory onslaught is just beginning.” Following the SEC lawsuit against Gemini and Genesis, Cramer tweeted: “Here comes the crackdown: Genesis and Gemini are first. We have had a fabulous short squeeze run. Ka-ching. Ka-ching.”
SEC Slammed for Enforcement-Centric Approach
While Cramer appreciated Gensler and the SEC, many people have criticized the SEC chairman for focusing on enforcement and not taking action to prevent the FTX catastrophe after several meetings with former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF).
Congressman Tom Emmer (R-MN) commented on Twitter last week after the SEC announced charges against Gemini and Genesis: “Gary Gensler is once again late to the game, ‘protecting’ no one. Quite clear that his political ‘regulation through enforcement’ strategy hurts everyday Americans.” In a follow-up tweet, the lawmaker wrote:
Gary Gensler, when can we expect proactive guidance instead of leaving the industry to interpret the rules of the road through your after-the-fact enforcement actions?
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