Since Gary Gensler became Chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in 2021, he has consistently dismissed suggestions that it is unclear how the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision SEC v. W.J. Howey Co., 328 U.S. 293 (1946) applies to cryptocurrency tokens. Instead, he has asserted that it is clear under Howey, an 80-year-old decision concerning orange groves, that most cryptocurrency tokens are securities.

He also has made a series of public statements in which he criticized cryptocurrency executives who claim that cryptocurrency tokens cannot be securities, including by implying that their assertions about a lack of clarity concerning the application of securities laws to crypto tokens were made in bad faith.