Gary Gensler, SEC Chair, mentioned that the SEC’s reevaluation of applications for spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) incorporates recent court decisions. Historically, the SEC has rejected applications for spot bitcoin funds, but the reconsideration is influenced by recent court rulings, such as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit’s verdict on Grayscale’s proposal.
The SEC is currently reviewing over a dozen applications for spot bitcoin ETFs from major asset managers, including BlackRock and Fidelity. Gensler highlighted that the court rulings, particularly the decision related to Grayscale’s bid, have influenced the SEC’s reconsideration of spot bitcoin ETFs.
In August, a panel of judges from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled that the SEC must re-review Grayscale’s bid for a spot bitcoin ETF. The court specifically addressed the SEC’s differential treatment of spot bitcoin ETFs compared to similar funds based on futures contracts, which the regulator has previously approved.
Gensler acknowledged the ongoing challenges in the crypto industry, emphasizing concerns about noncompliance with existing securities laws, AML regulations, and the need to protect the public against bad actors. He mentioned the prevalence of fraud and misconduct in the crypto field and reiterated his commitment to addressing these issues through regulatory measures.
The SEC’s evolving stance on spot bitcoin ETFs reflects the impact of recent legal developments and court rulings on the regulatory landscape for cryptocurrency-related financial products. The consideration of applications from major asset managers suggests a growing interest in providing investors with regulated access to bitcoin through ETFs.