Gary Gensler’s active first year at MIT

In early 2018, the MIT Sloan School of Management and the MIT Media Lab announced the joint appointment of Gary Gensler as Senior Lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management and Senior Advisor to the Director of the Media Lab.  In his short time at MIT, Gensler, former Chair of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), has already made significant contributions which will continue into the upcoming academic year.  Some highlights of his upcoming and recent work are listed below.

Course Offering: Blockchain and Money

This fall, Gensler will be teaching a course aimed at students wishing to explore blockchain technology’s potential use, the technology’s initial application (Bitcoin), along with the commercial, technical and public policy fundamentals of blockchain technology, distributed ledgers and smart contracts in both open-sourced and private applications.  The offering will also cover current and potential blockchain applications in the financial sector.  Throughout the course, students will explore the markets and regulatory landscape for cryptocurrencies along with initial coin offerings, other tokens and crypto derivatives.  A preliminary syllabus is now available.  In the spring semester, he will once again be teaching, along with Simon Johnson, a course on Public Policy and the Private Sector.

The MIT Golub Center for Finance and Policy is planning to record the course on Blockchain and Money and will post links to access its content for any interested parties.

GCFP Lecture Series

As part of its Distinguished Speaker Series, the Golub Center will be hosting Gensler for a lunchtime seminar on October 30, 2018, where he will share insights from his career in investment banking and government and also provide updates on his recent research. Contact for more information about the event.


Gensler, along with Simon Johnson, Neha Narula, Michael Casey and Jonah Crane, recently published a report: The 21st Geneva Report on the World Economy: The Impact of Blockchain Technology on Finance: A Catalyst for Change.  That report lays out the potential blockchain technology has to change many aspects of the financial services sector and the broader economy. It also includes insightful discussions on the basics of blockchain technology and its challenges, costs, and benefits, provides an overview of its potential direct impact on the financial sector, and assesses possible use cases beyond the world of finance.


Gensler testified on Cryptocurrencies: Oversight of New Assets in the Digital Age before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture on July 18, 2018. In his remarks, he explained how blockchain technology has the potential to transform the world of finance. Emphasizing that “there are many technical and commercial challenges yet to overcome, I’m an optimist and want to see this new technology succeed. It could lower costs, risks and economic rents in the financial system.” He further explained that “as with other aspects of finance or other emerging technologies, we must guard against illicit activities, such as tax evasion, money laundering, terrorism finance and avoiding sanctions regimes… We must continue to ensure financial stability… And we must ensure investors and consumers are protected.” He closed his testimony by suggesting that Congress may wish to consider providing the CFTC or another regulatory agency with general authorities to write rules for crypto markets. He pointed out that if policymakers are able to bring the crypto world into long-established public policy frameworks, greater innovation and competition could be fostered, allowing blockchain technologies to be explored to their fullest potential.