The prospect of a Bitcoin spot exchange-traded fund (ETF) being approved in the US has tantalized crypto investors for years. Despite over a dozen applications, the SEC has repeatedly denied or delayed approvals thus far. However, recent comments from SEC chair Gary Gensler suggest the agency could soon change course.
- SEC chair Gary Gensler hinted the agency is taking a “new look” at Bitcoin ETF applications after court rulings like the Grayscale case
- There are currently 8-12 Bitcoin spot ETF applications under review by the SEC
- Gensler avoided directly answering if the Grayscale ruling specifically is causing the SEC to rethink its stance
- The SEC aims to operate within laws set by Congress and interpreted by courts in its regulatory approach to crypto
- Gensler still believes the crypto industry is rife with risks and lacks compliance with securities laws
Speaking to CNBC, Gensler revealed the SEC currently has 8-12 Bitcoin spot ETF filings under review. This comes after several high-profile court rulings against the SEC’s past denials of Bitcoin products.
When asked if one such case involving Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust was causing the SEC to rethink its stance, Gensler gave a suggestive but vague response: “We’re taking a new look at this based upon those court rulings.”
Chair @GaryGensler obfuscates on crypto with the press like he does at committee hearings. He does not want to explain his agency’s aggressive regulatory approach which is pushing crypto offshore. https://t.co/YdQFN42jmK
— Bryan Steil (@RepBryanSteil) December 13, 2023
While avoiding directly saying if the Grayscale outcome is impacting the SEC’s actions, Gensler reiterated that the agency aims to work within the laws set by Congress and interpreted by courts.
The recent judgments seem to have forced the SEC’s hand to reconsider spot Bitcoin ETFs. Many analysts now expect that after years of waiting, the SEC could finally give some applications the green light in early 2023.
Major financial giants like BlackRock, Fidelity and Galaxy Digital have all applied. Another key contender is Grayscale, which won its court case against the SEC and has refiled for an ETF conversion. With heavyweight backers now entering the race, confidence is rising that the SEC will approve certain spot Bitcoin ETF items from reputable providers.
However, SEC chair Gensler also cautions that risks still abound in the “crypto wild west”. He argues more regulations are needed to protect investors and ensure compliance from crypto companies. This viewpoint aligns with increased SEC scrutiny and lawsuits targeting major industry players for alleged securities laws violations.
While optimism builds, it remains to be seen if the SEC is ready to finally end its blockade on Bitcoin spot ETFs. But with over a dozen applicants waiting and legal pressure mounting, Gensler’s recent hints suggest the long wait could soon pay off for Bitcoin believers.