Dec 15, 2023

Chinese AI Anchor Uncovers SEC’s ‘New Look’ at Bitcoin ETFs

Crypto SEC Forced SEC to Take 'New Look' at Bitcoin ETFs with Chinese AI Anchor
Gensler hints Grayscale ruling forced SEC to take ‘new look’ at Bitcoin ETFs

SEC Rethinking Its Approach to Spot Bitcoin Exchange-Traded Products

United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chair Gary Gensler has suggested that the regulator is reconsidering its stance on spot Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded products in light of a recent Grayscale court decision.

In a discussion with CNBC on Dec. 14, Gensler was asked about the number of pending applications for Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs). He said the SEC has “between eight and a dozen filings” in the process.

“We had in the past denied a number of these applications,” he said, adding that the courts have now weighed in. Gensler then hinted at a potential shift in the SEC’s stance on Bitcoin:

News anchor Sara Eisen asked whether he was referring to Grayscale. Gensler avoided the question, instead emphasizing that the SEC operates “within the laws Congress has passed and how the courts interpret them.”

The Race to Launch a Spot Bitcoin ETF

In August, the SEC’s decision to deny a Bitcoin ETF offering from Grayscale Investments was overturned by a federal judge. This has set off a race between large asset managers, including BlackRock, Fidelity, Grayscale, Invesco, Galaxy, VanEck, and Valkyrie, to launch a spot Bitcoin ETF. Despite the delay of all applications, some analysts are confident that a batch approval will occur in early January 2024.

On Dec. 14, SEC Chairman Gary Gensler, when interviewed by Bloomberg’s Kailey Leinz, skirted questions about the number of filings for spot Bitcoin products. Instead, he focused on recent changes to the U.S. treasury market as the agency’s priority.

U.S. Representative Bryan Steil commented on X (formerly Twitter) in response to Gensler’s interview: “The race to launch a spot Bitcoin ETF is heating up, with several major players, such as BlackRock, Fidelity, Grayscale, Invesco, Galaxy, VanEck, and Valkyrie, vying for a piece of the pie. Despite the delay, crypto SEC analysts remain optimistic about an early January 2024 approval.”

James Seyffart, an ETF analyst at Bloomberg, remarked that Gensler is an expert in avoiding giving direct answers. “He’s a master at hedging his words,” said Seyffart.

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