A Former Top Wall Street Regulator Turns to the Blockchain

Gary Gensler was one of the top financial regulators in the Obama administration, the finance chief for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and, before both of those jobs, a partner at Goldman Sachs.

Now, like many other big names from business and government, he is plunging into the world of the blockchain, the data-tracking technology introduced by Bitcoin.

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.

He will also use his position to warn about how many of the current projects in the world of virtual currencies, including some of the biggest, are likely to face a significant moment of reckoning with regulators.

Mr. Gensler is set to say in a speech at M.I.T. on Monday that the second and third most widely used virtual currencies, Ether and Ripple, have most likely been issued and traded in violation of American securities regulations.

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