© Reuters. Hope in Bitcoin ETF Approval Shaken by Gary Gensler Comments
Companies interested in launching an ETF in the United States were shaken by SEC President Gary Gensler’s latest comments about the cryptocurrency market.
Many of the companies that recently asked the SEC to approve the launch of an ETF, including Anthony Scaramucci’s Skybridge Capital, were optimistic that Gensler – who had previously expressed interest in the industry as a “catalyst for change” – could approve the financial product.
But in comments made Tuesday at the Aspen Security Forum, Gensler signaled that he would only be open to passing the ETF under strict rules and not necessarily one that provides direct exposure to Bitcoin.
Gensler said he “was particularly looking forward to” the SEC’s review of “ETFs limited to these CME-traded Bitcoin futures.” And a Bitcoin futures ETF is not what the market wants most.
Gabor Gurbacs, director of digital asset strategies at VanEck, an investment firm that has filed with the SEC, said a “physical exposure to the Bitcoin ETF is more efficient than futures-based fund structures.” He said that futures contracts are expensive for the issuer, expensive for investors and that, in general, the futures market is less liquid than the cash market, where brokers buy and sell directly.
An ETF, or exchange traded fund, is an investment tool that allows people to buy stocks that represent an asset, such as real estate, gold, or foreign currencies.
A cryptocurrency ETF would allow investors to invest in the digital asset without having to worry about buying and storing it securely, which can be tricky for some.
The SEC has been reluctant to approve the financial instrument for US investors due to concerns about market manipulation. But there is evidently a demand for an ETF in the US market. Several high-profile companies have sought approval from the SEC, including large traditional banks.
So far, only Canada and Brazil have approved the BTC ETF.
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