Gary Gensler Says Bitcoin Is ‘Token of Choice for Ransomware’ and ‘Not That Decentralized’

By The Daily Hodl February 15, 2024 In Bitcoin

The Chair of the U.S. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) says Bitcoin (BTC) isn’t as decentralized as the public believes.

In a new interview on CNBC, Gensler says the top crypto asset by market cap is “not that decentralized,” partially due to the prominence of centralized crypto exchanges.

“[Bitcoin] is not that decentralized…look at how finance tends toward centralization since antiquity. What do we have? We have a handful of three to six core so-called crypto exchanges.”

Bitcoin is sold on crypto exchanges around the world, and it’s not clear how that has anything to do with Bitcoin’s decentralization.


The network’s decentralization stems from Bitcoin’s underlying blockchain technology, which is a distributed ledger managed by a network of computers (nodes) spread across the globe, with no single entity in control.

Backing up JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon, who said last month that Bitcoin was a “pet rock” with a main use case of helping criminals perpetrate illicit schemes, Gensler also says BTC is the token of choice for ransomware.

“[Bitcoin] is the leading market share in ransomware, and that’s publicly known. It’s the token of choice for ransomware.

The US dollar, the euro, the yen – you have the whole [of] society using [them] as a medium of exchange, we buy our cups of coffee, we get paid in dollars or yen or euro and you have a whole central bank and support for one currency, generally, per economic region.

That, we don’t have here, so there is a very real economic difference…

According to Gensler, Bitcoin’s transparent ledger gives off the impression that it’s more decentralized than it actually is, and should not be cited as a reason to invest in BTC.

“How many times do you have people on this show that say ‘I’m going to invest in something because of how the books and records are kept’… It’s just an accounting ledger. A clever [one].”

Bitcoin is trading for $51,699 at time of writing, a 6.5% gain during the last 24 hours.


Featured Image: Shutterstock/arleksey/Sol Invictus

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