- A resurfaced video from the 2019 MIT Bitcoin Expo reveals Gary Gensler’s previous criticism of the SEC’s inconsistent approach to approving spot Bitcoin ETFs.
- Despite Gensler’s current position as SEC chair, where he oversees the rejection and delay of spot Bitcoin ETF applications, the recent court rulings in favor of Grayscale and BlackRock indicate a potential shift in the regulatory tide.
In a compelling twist of events, Gary Gensler, the current chair of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), finds himself at the center of a debate on the approval of spot Bitcoin Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs). A video clip from the 2019 MIT Bitcoin Expo has recently resurfaced, showcasing Gensler’s critique of the SEC’s inconsistent stance on spot Bitcoin ETF approvals.
In this fireside chat, Gensler, then a part of the MIT faculty, expressed his views alongside SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce, highlighting the disparity between the treatment of Bitcoin futures and spot Bitcoin ETFs. He articulated,
“Bitcoin futures, and I think Ethereum futures and so forth, will exist, and Bitcoin ETFs have not, and that feels a little inconsistent to me […] It feels a little inconsistent.”
Fast forward to the present, Gensler’s position as the SEC chair has placed him in a position to influence the trajectory of Bitcoin ETF approvals. Under his leadership, the SEC has continued its trend of rejecting spot Bitcoin ETF applications, citing concerns over market manipulation.
However, recent developments signal a potential shift. Grayscale’s bid to convert its existing Bitcoin trust into a spot ETF, though initially rejected by the SEC, found support in a court ruling that labeled the SEC’s decision as
“arbitrary and capricious.”
The SEC chose not to appeal, marking a significant moment in the ongoing saga of Bitcoin ETFs.
Simultaneously, BlackRock’s proposed iShares spot Bitcoin ETF has secured a spot on a Nasdaq-affiliated clearinghouse, further fuelling optimism for an eventual approval. Industry experts and legal officers from prominent crypto firms like Coinbase are expressing confidence that these positive developments could pave the way for more spot Bitcoin ETF approvals in the near future.
The contrast between Gensler’s past statements and his current position highlights the complex and evolving nature of cryptocurrency regulation. As the market awaits the SEC’s next move, these recent court rulings and the listing of BlackRock’s ETF proposal may very well mark the beginning of a new chapter in the Bitcoin ETF approval saga.