Former SEC Chair Jay Clayton Suggests Regulators May Approve Spot Bitcoin ETF Soon
In a recent interview with CNBC on July 10, former U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair Jay Clayton discussed the possibility of regulators approving a spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) in the near future. Clayton explained that while the SEC had previously rejected spot Bitcoin ETFs, they had approved futures Bitcoin ETFs based on the surveillance sharing agreements and protections associated with the latter.
However, Clayton indicated that the circumstances have changed, stating, “I think what the institutions are arguing is that those distinctions have gone away, and now the spot product is actually less drag and more efficient for the investor… If they’re right… it would be hard to resist approving Bitcoin ETF.”
While Clayton did not provide a specific timeframe for when the SEC might approve a spot Bitcoin ETF, he acknowledged that the regulatory process has already taken a considerable amount of time. His comments come at a critical juncture as various asset management firms have recently submitted applications for spot Bitcoin ETFs.
On June 15, BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, filed a proposal for a spot Bitcoin ETF. This filing was followed by applications from other prominent asset management firms, including Bitwise, WisdomTree, Invesco, Valkyrie, VanEck, and Fidelity. Despite the influx of applications, the SEC has yet to approve any of them. Furthermore, reports have surfaced suggesting that some of these applications were re-filed with modifications in late June, possibly in response to anticipated rejection.
The approval of a spot Bitcoin ETF in the United States has been eagerly anticipated by investors and crypto enthusiasts alike. An ETF would provide a regulated and easily accessible vehicle for traditional investors to gain exposure to Bitcoin without directly owning the cryptocurrency. It could potentially attract significant institutional interest and further legitimize the crypto industry.
The SEC’s cautious approach towards Bitcoin ETFs has been primarily driven by concerns surrounding market manipulation, investor protection, and the nascent nature of the cryptocurrency market. However, Clayton’s remarks indicate a shift in sentiment, suggesting that the regulatory landscape may be evolving to accommodate the growing demand for Bitcoin investment products.
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