Gary Gensler, head of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), had been expected to approve a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). This move would usher in a new era for the crypto space. However, his recent public comments could signify that the wait for a Bitcoin ETF will continue in the United States.
Gensler calls for greater investor protection in the crypto space
US SEC Commissioner Gary Gensler told Congress that there is a need for greater investor protection in the cryptocurrency sector. His statement could indicate that the regulatory agency is not ready to approve a Bitcoin ETF in the United States just yet.
Gensler told the US Congress that the SEC should be granted regulatory authority over trading venues. The comments didn’t go down well with cryptocurrency experts and analysts. In fact, many of them believe that the Bitcoin ETF won’t be approved by the SEC any time soon.
Ben Johnson, director of global exchange-traded fun research for Morningstar Inc, stated that “The SEC has made their priorities clear, and vetting crypto ETFs is not one of them. Given that the SEC has bigger fish to fry, and taking Gensler’s recent remarks regarding crypto ETFs into account, I think the odds we’ll see a Bitcoin ETF approved in 2021 are very low.”
In the past, the US SEC has rejected every Bitcoin ETF proposal submitted for review. However, due to the Gensler’s connections to the crypto industry, several analysts and experts were optimistic that he would approve at least one Bitcoin ETF. The SEC is currently reviewing nine Bitcoin ETF applications. In addition, a recently submitted Ethereum ETF proposal by VanEck asset management firm is being considered.
The US is behind Canada and others in crypto ETF approvals
The SEC has already postponed its decision for the VanEck Bitcoin ETF. As a matter of fact, Nate Geraci, president of the ETF Store told Bloomberg that “SEC concerns over fraud and manipulation in the Bitcoin spot market have been the primary roadblock for a Bitcoin ETF approval. If Gensler isn’t yet fully comfortable with crypto exchanges, it’s highly unlikely he would bless a Bitcoin ETF.”
In short, the United States is behind Canada and a other countries in terms of cryptocurrency ETF adoption. As an example, Canada has already approved a few Bitcoin ETFs and three Ether ETFs. Certainly, these approvals are expected to make it easier for institutional investors. Essentially, they will allow them to gain access to the leading cryptocurrencies.