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SEC Considering 8-10 Spot Bitcoin ETF Applications, Says Chair Gensler

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is currently considering between eight and 10 bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) applications, according to SEC Chairman Gary Gensler. He insisted that “the vast majority of crypto assets likely meet the investment contract test, making them subject to the securities laws.”

SEC Chair Gary Gensler on Spot Bitcoin ETFs

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Gary Gensler said Thursday that the regulator has eight to 10 spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) applications under review. The SEC has not yet approved a spot bitcoin ETF, even though the agency has greenlighted several ETFs linked to bitcoin futures contracts.

Regarding bitcoin ETF decisions, the SEC chairman stated:

They’ll come potentially to the five-member commission. I’m not going to prejudge them but I don’t have anything on timing. They all have various different filing dates.

Gensler did not specify the eight to 10 spot bitcoin ETF applications the SEC is reviewing. However, based on public records, there are 12 spot bitcoin ETF applications pending review at the SEC, including Grayscale’s application to covert its bitcoin trust (GBTC) into a spot bitcoin ETF.

Other applicants include Cathie Wood’s ARK Investment Management, Blackrock, Bitwise, Wisdomtree, Fidelity, Vaneck, and Invesco. The securities regulator has delayed all decisions on spot Bitcoin ETFs. Eight applications have the latest possible review dates in the first quarter of next year, and three have the latest review dates in the second quarter.

The price of bitcoin soared earlier this week on speculation that Blackrock, the world’s largest asset manager, is close to launching its bitcoin ETF. Moreover, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ordered the SEC earlier this week to reconsider Grayscale Investments’ spot bitcoin ETF application. Some analysts, including those at JPMorgan, are expecting the SEC to approve multiple spot bitcoin ETFs at once.

On Wednesday, Gensler talked about cryptocurrency regulation at the 2023 Securities Enforcement Forum, stating:

There is nothing about the crypto asset securities markets that suggests that investors and issuers are less deserving of the protections of our securities laws.

“As I’ve previously said, without prejudging any one asset, the vast majority of crypto assets likely meet the investment contract test, making them subject to the securities laws,” he continued. “Further, it follows that most crypto intermediaries — transacting in these crypto asset securities — are subject to the securities laws as well.”

Gensler previously stated that all crypto tokens, excluding bitcoin, are securities. His litigation-heavy approach to regulating the crypto industry has drawn much criticism. He has repeatedly claimed that crypto is a field rife with fraud, abuse, and misconduct.

What do you think about the statements by SEC Chairman Gary Gensler? Let us know in the comments section below.

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