When asked on Wednesday about the ongoing review process for spot bitcoin ETFs, Gensler said “The staff is doing work on those multiple filings.” In an interview with Bloomberg, Gensler didn’t give out much details about the process, and particularly refused to comment on the SEC’s ongoing case with Grayscale.
He also didn’t say if the agency will approve a single ETF application or multiple applications as many people have predicted. The SEC had last month delayed decision on ETF applications from big names in the crypto space including BlackRock, Invesco, Valkyrie and Fidelity.
Since then, there has been anxiety on what the outcome of the decision is likely to be, as the crypto industry is eagerly looking forward to a Bitcoin spot ETF. Gensler assures that the agency is working on the applications through a “time tested” process.
“What we have in front of us, just so that the viewing public understands, we have not one, but multiple, I think it’s eight or ten filings that the staff, and ultimately the Commission, is considering,” he said. “When an asset manager is seeking to take something public, these exchange traded products need to register with the SEC, and they go through a filing, somewhat similar to going public, like an IPO.”
“And so it’s really the work of our Division of Corporation Finance that gives feedback, our Division of Trading and Markets of course looks at the filings,” he continued. “This is a time tested process that goes back decades. The staff of the SEC, it’s called the Disclosure Review Team, but in that group, they respond and give feedback to potential issuers.”
Hope for an ETF on the Rise
There has been a high optimism that a Bitcoin spot ETF could be on the horizon. This is mainly because the ETF applications this time around are from reputable companies, and the SEC has requested for some corrections.
The high hope also has to do with the recent court ruling backing Grayscale and directing the SEC to reconsider its application for an ETF. Because of the ruling, many analysts have said the SEC has no choice but to approve an ETF eventually, they even project that multiple ETF applications may be approved at once.
Gensler’s confirmation that his agency is working on multiple applications further fuels this optimism that multiple applications will be approved at the same time.
Lawmakers Back ETF
Following the ruling by the court that the SEC should consider approving Grayscale’s Bitcoin ETF application, lawmakers in the U.S have asked the SEC to approve a Bitcoin spot ETF as soon as possible in order to provide a safe way for investors to enter the crypto space.
This has been supported not just by Republican but also by Democrat lawmakers as they see no reason why a Bitcoin spot ETF cannot be approved, when several Bitcoin futures ETFs have been approved in the past.
Hopefully, the SEC will be able to make up its mind about approval by early 2024, which will play a critical role in determining the future of the crypto industry for years to come.