The news about a bitcoin (BTC) exchange traded fund (ETF), or exchange fund, has already faded into the background a little bit. Last month it was still huge news, and the crypto prices quickly rose to new heights. The next deadline for the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to make a decision on a bitcoin ETF is fast approaching.
The next deadline is August 8, when the SEC must approve or deny ARK 21Shares’ ETF application, but may also postpone the decision. However, the chairman of the US regulator, Gary Gensler, is not exactly pleased with the mockery of bitcoin ETFs.
“Fraud and manipulation in crypto”
On June 15, the world’s largest investment fund, Blackrock, filed its spot bitcoin ETF application. This was reason for a large number of other investment funds to submit a similar application soon afterwards. In an interview with Bloomberg, Gensler is asked about his thoughts on this “bitcoin-ETF hype.”
Gensler indicates that he does not want to make an official statement until the entire committee has looked at the applications. However, he does let all his opinions shine through and lashes out hard at the crypto industry again. For example, he uses the words ‘fraudulent’ and ‘manipulative’. This certainly doesn’t suggest any enthusiasm for the bitcoin ETFs either.
“There is a lot of ‘non-compliance’ in the (crypto) sector. The platforms where trading on different tokens takes place generally do not comply with the rules against fraud and manipulation.”
Bitcoin ETF deadlines are approaching
As part of the ETF filing, Blackrock is proposing a partnership with crypto exchange Coinbase. Coinbase will act as supervisor and administrator. There is a good chance that the SEC is not happy about this. The SEC has been involved in a lawsuit with the exchange since early June.
A few weeks ago, however, the SEC took a serious blow. The commission lost the lawsuit with Ripple (XRP). The judge ruled that XRP tokens, when traded on exchanges, are not securities. The SEC has already indicated that it disagrees with the ruling and is considering an appeal.
Before August 8, the SEC will therefore have to make its first ruling on a bitcoin ETF application. Several deadlines will immediately follow in September, including Blackrock’s. However, the SEC has the option to defer the decision. If the SEC chooses this option, we may have to wait until early 2024 for clarity about the future of a bitcoin exchange fund in the US.