The SEC’s Kardashian fine was a dumb publicity stunt

By Jeff John Roberts. October 4, 2022. (Fortune)

Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler got what he wanted on Monday. The media lapped up news of his agency slapping Kim Kardashian with a $1.26 million fine for promoting a cryptocurrency on Instagram. It was the top story of the day in the business and tech press, and that’s no surprise since Gensler planned it that way—taking the unusual step of announcing it on a Monday before markets opened and hyping the heck out of it with a video designed to ride the coattails of Kardashian’s celebrity status.

What a shame this is all so stupid. As some astute Twitter users pointed out, the promotion in question was from June of 2021, and the SEC’s fine matters little in the bigger picture of crypto regulation. Meanwhile, Gensler’s agency failed to spot the massive fraud underlying Terra and Celsius earlier this year that helped wipe out more than $1 trillion, much of it from small investors. His SEC has also refused to approve a Bitcoin ETF akin to those in place in Canada and Europe, a step that would save retail investors millions in fees.

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