Gary Gensler Explains Why The SEC Approved a Bitcoin Futures ETF

Kavya  |  Oct 20, 2021

SEC Chairman Gary Gensler has explained why the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chose to approve a Bitcoin futures exchange-traded fund (ETF) for trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)

Meanwhile, the Commission has not approved the creation of a spot Bitcoin ETF. 

Why DId the SEC Approve Bitcoin Futures ETF?

As the first future-based Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) in the United States debuted on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), the chairman of the United Staṭēs Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) explained why the regulator approved a Bitcoin futures ETF but not a spot Bitcoin ETF. 

SEC Chairman Gary Gensler underlined Tuesday in an interview with CNBC that his organization "should be technology-neutral, but not policy neutral." He continued, saying,

What we’re trying to do is ensure to the best we can within our authorities to bring projects into the investor protection perimeter.

“Bitcoin futures have been overseen by our sibling agency, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission [CFTC], which I was once honored and proud to serve there and that’s been four years,” the SEC chief continued.

One of the applications  “went effective with regard to those products over at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange [CME] that our sibling agency oversees,” he added.

In response to the query why the SEC approved a Bitcoin futures exchange-traded fund (ETF), but not a spot Bitcoin ETF, Gensler said he will not comment on any individual application or initiative. 

The SEC's chairman, on the other hand, clarified:

What you have here is a product that’s been overseen for four years by a U.S. federal regulator, the CFTC, and that’s being wrapped inside of something that’s within our jurisdiction called the Investment Company Act of 1940. So, we have some ability to bring it inside of investor protection.

Is Future ETFs A Better Investment Option?

While noting that bitcoin is "still a very speculative asset class," the SEC chairman continued, "our sister agency is supervising this for four years and then it brings it within an 80-year-old law here at the SEC."

The ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF, symbol BITO debuted on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)  

“The fund seeks to provide capital appreciation primarily through managed exposure to Bitcoin futures contracts, its website details, adding that it “does not invest directly in Bitcoin.”

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