Bloomberg Analyst Demands Answers on SEC’s Ethereum ETF Approval

By Jody McDonald June 10, 2024 In ETFs, Ethereum, SEC
  • Bloomberg ETF analyst, James Seyffart, says he believes the SEC’s decision to approve the Ethereum ETFs was politically motivated and lacked transparency.
  • The analyst says the SEC intentionally used a decision making process called delegated authority in an attempt to limit public knowledge of the decision-making process. 
  • Seyffart called on members of the public to submit FOIA requests in an attempt to uncover correspondence with SEC Chair, Gary Gensler, and identify who made the call to approve the ETFs.

Bloomberg ETF analyst, James Seyffart, has called on members of the public to submit Freedom of Information Access (FOIA) requests to shed some light on the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) decision-making process around its recent approval of Ethereum ETFs.

Speaking to KITCO News last week, Seyffart said he believes the approval decision lacks transparency and is politically motivated. He suggests that someone from the Biden administration may have put pressure on SEC Chair Gary Gensler, or one of the commissioners, to approve the ETFs in order to nullify crypto as a political issue heading into this year’s presidential election.

Related: Ethereum Funds Could Start Trading Soon as SEC Demands Response by Week’s End 

Seyffart: This Was A Political Move

During the interview Seyffart pulled no punches, saying “I am 100% in the camp: this was a political move.”


The Bloomberg analyst added that even most SEC staff were fully expecting the Ethereum ETFs to be denied before the regulator had a dramatic, and somewhat mysterious, last minute change of heart:

From what I understand, everybody at the SEC was expecting a denial order. The plans were to deny these Ethereum ETFs that were due on May 23rd, and some call came in at some point that we’re going to approve these things.

James Seyffart, Bloomberg ETF Analyst

So what caused this sudden change of heart? Nobody knows exactly, but according to Seyffart “the leading theory is somebody called Gensler, possibly from the Biden admin.”

FOIA Requests Needed To Get To The Bottom Of This

Unlike the Bitcoin ETF decision, which was subject to a public vote from the SEC commissioners, the Ethereum ETF decision was made using delegated authority, which allows SEC staff to decide. Seyffart explained that this means that the public don’t really have any insight into the decision-making process and there’s no voting record to show who supported and who opposed the approval:

Usually on big things like that [the Bitcoin ETF approval] they vote. The vast majority of other things they do something called delegated authority, which basically lets the SEC staff make a decision. For something like this [Ethereum ETF approval] they don’t usually do delegated authority, and they did it here, so we don’t know what the voting breakdown was.

James Seyffart, Bloomberg ETF Analyst

Seyffart says until there’s ironclad proof otherwise, his belief will remain that this decision was politically motivated. He also called on the public to submit FOIA requests targeting any correspondence with SEC Chair Gary Gensler to try to uncover who made the call to approve these ETFs:

As far as I’m concerned until I have someone come out and show me smoking gun evidence this was political, and I even bet they had denial orders written up, I bet you there’s drafts out there. People should be doing FOIA (Freedom of Information Access) requests and look for emails, calls, anyone that had a conversation with Gary Gensler to try to figure out what happened here.

James Seyffart, Bloomberg ETF Analyst

Related: ‘I’m Good With It’ – Donald Trump Offers Strongest Crypto Endorsement Yet, Welcomes Crypto Campaign Donations 

Seyffart says he believes the Democrats have recently realised being anti-crypto is a losing position politically and are looking to quickly change tack to nullify Trump’s attempts to position himself as the pro-crypto candidate:

I think the Democrats have now realised being vehemently anti-crypto, even if it’s against common sense rule making, and going out and doing things is not a good look.

James Seyffart, Bloomberg ETF Analyst

Jody McDonald

Jody McDonald

Jody is a Brisbane-based freelance writer who specialises in writing about business, technology, and the future of work.

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