Former Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Jay Clayton told CNBC in an interview that the regulator will inevitably approve an ETF based on the spot price of the first cryptocurrency.
“Approval is inevitable. The dichotomy between futures and cash products cannot go on forever,” he said.
Clayton noted that he was not surprised by the decision of the agency to postpone consideration of applications for the launch of spot bitcoin ETFs from BlackRock, Fidelity, Bitwise, VanEck, WisdomTree, Invesco and Valkyrie until at least mid-October.
At the same time, the ex-head of the SEC refused to answer the question of how he would act in the place of the current chairman of the Commission, Gary Gensler.
“It is clear that bitcoin is not a security. It is clear to all that retail and institutional investors want access to it. And more importantly, some of our most trusted vendors want to provide bitcoin to the retail public,” he added.
Prior to Clayton, Morgan Creek Digital co-founder Anthony Pompliano expressed a similar opinion. In a commentary to CNBC, he stated that the SEC would approve a spot Bitcoin ETF, and this would bring “billions of dollars” to the crypto industry.
On June 15, BlackRock filed an application with the SEC for an investment product based on digital gold. Following the financial giant, similar requests came from Valkyrie, Fidelity Investments, WisdomTree and Invesco. However, the regulator returned all applications.
Subsequently, the companies promptly sent updated proposals to the department. On July 14, the Commission accepted applications from BlackRock, VanEck, Fidelity Investments, Invesco and WisdomTree for consideration.
So far, the SEC has not given any approval to launch spot bitcoin ETFs. The Commission made an exception for similar products based on futures for the first cryptocurrency from ProShares and Valkyrie Investments.
In total, the regulator has 240 days from the start of consideration of applications.
Earlier, Bloomberg analysts James Seiffart and Eric Balciunas estimated the probability of launching a spot bitcoin ETF by the end of 2023 at 75%. Experts have increased the chances after the legal victory of Grayscale in the case against the SEC.
Recall that the ex-lawyer of the department, John Reed Stark, ruled out the approval of the spot bitcoin ETF. However, Bernstein experts assessed the chances of a new wave of applicants as high.
Fred Thiel, CEO of mining company Marathon Digital, is positive, and Tom Lee, co-founder of analytics firm Fundstrat, predicted significant growth for digital gold if applications are approved.
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