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What is the impact of a delayed Bitcoin ETF?

Alisha Roy

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US Securities and Exchange Commission is yet to fully approve Bitcoin ETFs having only acknowledged VanEck’s filing for a $5 trillion ETF to date. The federal agency faces several ETFs that are waiting for approval, but the SEC’s rejection of 10 such Funds received criticism from Commissioner Hester Peirce again. 

Peirce who is popularly known as ‘Crypto Mom’ said that approving Bitcoin ETFs has been long overdue. 

Meanwhile, two of the largest cryptocurrencies Bitcoin and Ether have performed exceptionally well with a price hike of 823.6% and 1266.3%, respectively. Among growing retail interest, which saw the global crypto population cross 100 million users, corporates are showing increasing interest too. For example, payments network giant Visa decided to settle transactions in USDC over the Ethereum blockchain. 

As interest grows in crypto assets, new Bitcoin ETF applications could find their way to the Commission again. Peirce said that when SEC reviews these applications “on its facts and circumstances,” she revealed that people are looking at “past rejections to try to figure out what it is they need to answer.” 

According to Peirce, Bitcoin’s price performance is not the SEC’s “business.” She thinks that the “bigger driver” is that retailers can access Bitcoin and Ether through “a lot of avenues” or “other ways”  that are now available. She added: 

And I guess the question will be at what point do we start to say: “Wait a minute, retail investors are accessing this stuff in other ways. Would it be better for us just to allow them to access it through these more standard exchange-traded products that are more familiar?”

But SEC of Brazil recently approved the first Bitcoin ETF in the Latin American region. This regulatory approval marked the second time a traditional exchange decided to list a Bitcoin ETF after the launch of three Bitcoin ETFs in Canada this year.

Peirce said she could not predict the Commission’s stance on ETFs in the future as “the standard” that SEC has applied “is different” from what has been applied “to other types of products.” However, she noted that “a new chairman” could “rethink the approach” to help approve exchange-traded products. 

While many in the crypto sector are looking forward to the crypto-friendly Gary Gensler’s appointment, Peirce said that it was “important to manage expectations:”

I think it’s really wonderful to have someone coming in who knows the industry quite well and has spent time interacting with people who are actually building stuff. He’s going to have a very busy agenda—much of which will have nothing to do with crypto. So it is important to manage expectations a bit. But I do think that he is someone who is sympathetic to the call for regulatory clarity.


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Alisha is a full-time journalist at AMBCrypto. Her interests lie in blockchain technology, crypto-crimes, and market developments in Africa and the United States