SEC Chair Gensler Discusses the Future of Spot Bitcoin ETFs Amid New Developments

By Aaron Feuerstein November 30, 2023 In Bitcoin, SEC
Source: Adobe Stock
  • SEC Chair Gensler didn’t comment on spot Bitcoin ETF approvals, stressing a non-biased, careful review process.
  • SEC delays Bitcoin ETF decisions and seeks public comments, suggesting potential simultaneous approvals by early 2024.
  • Pando Asset seeks SEC approval for a Bitcoin ETF; BlackRock proposes a solution for ETF redemption concerns.

Gensler: “Not Prejudging”

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair Gary Gensler did not provide specific comments regarding the potential approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs during a recent conference. Speaking at a Healthy Markets Association event, Gensler refrained from “pre-judging” the ongoing review process of these ETFs, which he has previously described as a “time-tested process.”

The crypto industry is eagerly anticipating the SEC’s decision on the first spot Bitcoin ETF. Several asset managers, including BlackRock and Fidelity, have submitted applications for such ETFs, but the SEC has delayed its decisions on these applications.

I’m not going to prejudge any particular application. We’ve had a number of filings, we’re reviewing them carefully, and we’ll continue to do that.

Gary Gensler

ETF Approvals Still A Go-Ahead in Early 2024?

The recent developments in the Bitcoin ETF space in the United States indicate a potential simultaneous approval for spot exchange-traded funds (ETFs). The SEC has requested public comments on forms submitted by Franklin Templeton and Hashdex, which are essential for the ETFs to be listed and start trading. 

Bloomberg ETF analyst James Seyffart, along with his colleague Eric Balchunas, previously estimated a 90% chance of spot Bitcoin ETF approvals by January 10, 2024. The recent delays have reinforced their belief that the SEC might be aligning all applicants for potential approval by this date. Balchunas echoed this sentiment, suggesting that the SEC’s move aims to clear the path for these approvals.


BlackRock Meets SEC – Again

Swiss asset manager Pando Asset has also submitted an application to the U.S. SEC for a spot Bitcoin ETF, to be traded on the Cboe BZX Exchange, with Coinbase as its custodian. This ETF, named Pando Asset Spot Bitcoin BTC, aims to use the CME’s CF Bitcoin Reference Rate for Bitcoin pricing. Pando Asset already offers cryptocurrency ETPs in Europe.

BlackRock recently presented a solution to the SEC’s concerns about ETF redemptions’ balance sheet impacts, suggesting a method for managing cash transfers. Scott Johnsson from Van Buren Capital noted that this approach might finally meet the SEC’s requirements.

Aaron Feuerstein

Aaron Feuerstein

Aaron Feuerstein is a freelance writer based in Melbourne. His focus is on decentralised finance and the regulatory space surrounding blockchain. He holds a Master's in Accounting. When he is not studying the latest legal case, he enjoys his time as a modest but eager hobby cook.

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