Eric Balchunas and James Seyffart – Bloomberg’s in-house ETF analysts – on Tuesday published an investor note that predicts that a Bitcoin ETF approval may likely arrive in October.
They suggest that the recent Ethereum futures ETF withdrawal that ProShares and VanEck made could be an indicator that things are beginning to move rapidly in the SEC. The ETF experts expect the regulators to approve several ETFs at once in order not to give any of the funds an unfair edge over others.
“VanEck and ProShares’ rapid withdrawal of proposals for Ethereum futures ETFs is a good sign for a potential Bitcoin futures ETF, given the SEC has allowed those filing to remain active. A launch could come as soon as October, and we believe the SEC should permit several at once to avoid handing out the first-mover advantage,” the analysts said.
This is renewed hope for investors who have long been demanding an SEC-approved exchange-traded fund in the U.S. The SEC has long been stalling its approval, even to the disappointment of some of its members. SEC commissioner Hester Peirce, who has long been a strong advocate for cryptocurrencies, has repeatedly pointed out that a Bitcoin ETF was long overdue in the U.S.
Since as far back as last year, Peirce who is also affectionately called “Crypto Mom” by the crypto-community, decried the situation the SEC put U.S. investors in with cryptocurrency investments. She acknowledges that there is a void that only the SEC can fill by allowing Bitcoin funds to trade in the regulated markets. The commissioner sees the reluctance of the commission to approve a crypto-ETF as being unfair to the industry.
She feels that the SEC’s failure to provide “safe harbor” for investors and innovators in the cryptocurrency industry could drive the industry away from the U.S. This would be a losing situation for the country as the revenue the industry generates will also go with it.
She has recapitulated this stance on several occasions and criticized the regulation by enforcement method the commission currently adopts in regulating the crypto-industry, in the absence of clear cut regulatory frameworks.
On the other side of the story is SEC chair Gary Gensler, who it was hoped would bring a favorable turnaround to the commission’s stance on cryptocurrencies. So far, that has not materialized to the disappointment of the industry. Gensler has entered the bad books of most key players of the community with his stance that the SEC needs more powers to regulate the crypto industry for better consumer protection.
While he strongly feels the industry needs “rules of the road” to really achieve its full potential, the commission has not been so helpful in providing the said rules. His lack of response to a question posed to him on whether Ethereum was a security or not is very telling of this. Attorney Jeremy Hogan – who is an ardent follower of the proceedings of the SEC suit against Ripple – asked for a straightforward answer to the question in a tweet in order to clarify uncertainty, but has not received a response from the SEC chair.
Such situations form part of the crux of the issues crypto-proponents have with the SEC. The community wants the SEC to clearly spell out which cryptocurrencies it considers to be securities and which it doesn’t. The billionaire CEO of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks expressed the sentiment in his response to Gensler’s recent tweet on the commission’s stance on cryptocurrencies and consumer protection.
“How about making the lines bright and clear so people know what the rules are?” he asked, adding that the community was eager to comply with the rules, but none were present or clearly defined.
Overall, the community has its fingers crossed to see how things will play out on or before October.