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Updated January 9th, 2024 at 12:32 IST

Gary Gensler issues crypto caution amid spot Bitcoin ETF

Without explicitly referencing spot Bitcoin ETFs, Gensler highlighted the inherent risks of the crypto market, pointing to its volatility and threat of frauds.

Business Desk
Gary Gensler
Gary Gensler | Image:X/Twitter
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Bitcoin ETF approval: Gary Gensler, the Chair of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), recently shared his insights on a social media platform as the financial industry awaits decisions on various spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) applications. In his message on January 8, Gensler urged caution among cryptocurrency investors, underlining potential non-compliance with federal securities regulations by asset managers offering crypto investment products. 

Without explicitly referencing spot Bitcoin ETFs, Gensler highlighted the inherent risks of the crypto market, pointing to its volatility and susceptibility to crypto frauds.

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The SEC Chair's comments surfaced around 3:40 pm UTC, coinciding with the submission of amended S-1 applications by several ETF issuers, including Valkyrie, WisdomTree, BlackRock, VanEck, Invesco, Galaxy, Grayscale, ARK Invest, 21Shares, Fidelity, Bitwise, and Franklin Templeton. 

Crucial step in regulatory process

These filings represent a crucial step in the regulatory process, though approval remains uncertain. Notably, Canadian authorities permitted the listing of spot Bitcoin ETFs on exchanges in 2021, contrasting the SEC's prolonged evaluation period.

Despite years of applications from various asset managers, the SEC has yet to approve a spot crypto ETF, prompting criticism directed at Gensler. Recent S-1 submissions, mandated by a January 5 deadline, underline progress but do not assure regulatory consent. 

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While the commission retains the discretion to deny these applications, any rejection would necessitate distinct justification, particularly following a federal court's ruling in August that compelled the SEC to reassess its stance on a Grayscale spot BTC ETF, deeming its previous decision as “arbitrary and capricious.”

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Published January 9th, 2024 at 12:32 IST

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