Congress Urges SEC to Approve Spot Bitcoin ETFs

A group of four U.S. lawmakers has sent a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chair Gary Gensler, asking him to approve the listing of spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) as soon as possible.

The letter, dated Sept. 26, was signed by Representatives Mike Flood, Tom Emmer, Ritchie Torres, and Wiley Nickel, all members of the House Financial Services Committee. They argued that spot Bitcoin ETFs would provide more investor protection and transparency than futures Bitcoin ETFs, which are the only type of crypto ETFs that the SEC has approved so far.

Spot Bitcoin ETFs are investment products that track the price of Bitcoin directly, while futures Bitcoin ETFs are based on contracts that speculate on the future price of Bitcoin. The lawmakers claimed that spot Bitcoin ETFs are “indistinguishable” from futures Bitcoin ETFs in terms of regulatory requirements and market risks.

Congress Urges SEC to Approve Spot Bitcoin ETFs
Congress Urges SEC to Approve Spot Bitcoin ETFs

They cited a recent court ruling that rejected the SEC’s argument that Bitcoin markets are “uniquely resistant to manipulation” and not mature enough for ETF approval. The court said that this claim did not justify the SEC’s decision to deny Grayscale’s proposed spot Bitcoin ETF.

Congress’s Duty to Ensure Fair Treatment

The lawmakers said that Congress has a duty to ensure that the SEC approves investment products that meet the standards set by Congress. They accused the SEC of applying “inconsistent and discriminatory standards” to spot Bitcoin ETF applications, while allowing futures Bitcoin ETF applications to proceed.

They urged Gensler to “approve the listing of spot-bitcoin ETPs immediately”, saying that there is no reason to continue to deny such applications. They also expressed their willingness to work with Gensler and the SEC staff to address any concerns or questions they may have regarding spot Bitcoin ETFs.

Gensler’s Stance on Crypto Regulation

The letter came ahead of Gensler’s scheduled appearance before the House Financial Services Committee on Sept. 27, where he is expected to face tough questions from lawmakers on various issues related to SEC oversight, including crypto regulation.

Gensler has been vocal about his views on crypto regulation, calling for more clarity and authority for the SEC to oversee the crypto industry. He has also expressed his preference for futures Bitcoin ETFs over spot Bitcoin ETFs, saying that they have more investor protection and market surveillance.

However, he has not ruled out the possibility of approving spot Bitcoin ETFs in the future, saying that he is open to reviewing any application that meets the SEC’s standards. He has also acknowledged the growing demand and innovation in the crypto space, saying that he is “pro-innovation” and “pro-competition”.

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