After consistently withholding approval of a spot Bitcoin ETF for US investors over the years, it appears that SEC Chairman Gary Gensler may reconsider his position in light of Grayscale’s legal triumph.
Although he did not explicitly acknowledge any change in position, he admitted to taking a new look at the process of approving a spot Bitcoin ETF following the recent court rulings.
A softened position?
In a interview with CNBC’s “Money Movers,” Gensler said,
“I think it’s between eight and a dozen files. I am chairman of a committee. I must not prejudge anything. So this is in process right now. And as you may know, we have denied a number of these requests in the past, but the District of Columbia courts have weighed in on this. We are therefore examining the issue from a new perspective based on these court decisions.
The District of Columbia Court of Appeals in Washington ruled in August that the SEC made an incorrect decision in denying approval of Grayscale’s proposed Bitcoin ETF. The move is of momentous significance to the industry, which has been seeking to advance and establish such crypto investment products for a decade.
Despite the hostility toward the industry, the SEC chose not to appeal the court’s decision. The move then gave rise to speculation that it could open the door for the regulatory agency to review and evaluate Grayscale’s application.
In the latest interview, Gensler refrained from mentioning Grayscale but emphasized the SEC’s role within laws established by Congress and interpreted by the courts. He also cautioned investors against frequent disregard of securities laws designed to provide information for making informed investment decisions and to protect against fraud and manipulation.
Besides Grayscale, several major asset management firms, including BlackRock, Fidelity, Invesco, VanEck, and Valkyrie, are currently competing to introduce a spot Bitcoin ETF. Although the approval process for all these applications has experienced delays, experts are confident that approval will likely take place in early January 2024.
Grayscale optimistic following conversations with SEC
Grayscale is eagerly considering a spot Bitcoin ETF after securing a legal victory against the SEC.
Although specific timelines were not disclosed, Michael Sonnenshein, CEO of Grayscale Investments, expressed positivity regarding discussions with the SEC regarding the possibility of a spot Bitcoin ETF. The executive shared his optimism, saying his company had been actively involved in conversations with the regulatory watchdog.
He noted that the questions posed by the SEC suggest a willingness to engage on the issue and a desire to make progress in this area.
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