Gensler Silent on Bitcoin ETF Plans Amid Grayscale Ruling
Pressure Builds for a Spot Bitcoin ETF
Despite significant pressure to approve a spot Bitcoin ETF for trading on public markets, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chairman Gary Gensler remains tight-lipped about his agency’s future moves.
Grayscale’s Court Order
On Monday, the SEC received an order from the Court of Appeals to review Grayscale’s Bitcoin ETF application. Grayscale, which owns the world’s largest Bitcoin fund, has plans to convert it into a spot ETF as soon as possible.
Regarding these developments, Gensler said at a Securities Enforcement Forum event in Washington, “Those are things that are in front of staff.” He emphasized that he would wait for SEC staff to provide recommendations to him and the commission before making any judgments.
Handling Similar Applications
When questioned about the order of precedence for similar applications, Gensler did not provide a definitive answer. Currently, the SEC is reviewing around a dozen nearly identical spot Bitcoin ETF applications from prominent fund managers, including BlackRock, Fidelity, Franklin Templeton, and others.
Market Confidence Grows
Grayscale’s recent legal victory over the SEC in August has boosted market confidence in the possibility of a spot ETF approval. The discount on Grayscale’s GBTC shares has narrowed to 14%, and Bitcoin’s price reached a yearly high of $35,000 this week.
Ongoing Legal Battles
The SEC is also dealing with an ongoing case against Ripple for its institutional sales of XRP, seeking a $770 million fine for the company’s unregistered securities sale of XRP. Earlier this month, the SEC dropped similar charges against Ripple’s co-founders.
The SEC is pursuing legal action against crypto exchanges Coinbase and Binance for alleged securities law violations.
Gensler stated, “I’m going to let each of these crypto exchange cases speak for themselves, and they’re in front of jurists. They’ll play themselves out where they play themselves out.”
Gensler attended the event to deliver a speech about SEC enforcement, in which he voiced criticisms about the crypto industry, highlighting its “rife with non-compliance” nature.
“In the question period,” he remarked, “We have a $110 trillion capital market. Crypto worldwide might be a trillion, but in the U.S., it is less. So just by that, it’s well less than one percent of U.S. capital markets.”