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Gary Gensler believes the SEC approved ETFs, but not Bitcoin itself

Market and Events: Gary Gensler believes the SEC approved ETFs, but not Bitcoin itself

Today was a long-awaited event - the US Securities and Exchange Commission gave the green light to eleven spot bitcoin-ETFs.

It has been a long and arduous journey, filled with pleading, coercion and the looming threat of litigation.

But finally, the moment has arrived. However, SEC Chairman Gary Gensler took the opportunity to express the regulator's position on the matter in a separate statement.

Based on these circumstances and those discussed more fully in the approval order, I feel the most sustainable path forward is to approve the listing and trading of these spot bitcoin ETP shares.

Gensler explained that his agency is acting within the confines of the law and how the courts have interpreted it. Between 2018 and 2023, the #SEC rejected more than 20 applications to create bitcoin-ETFs. One of those applications, filed by #Grayscale, sought to convert the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust into an ETF.

The applications approved today bear similarities to those that the Commission has consistently rejected over the years. However, circumstances have changed. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that the Commission failed to sufficiently justify its rejection of an application to convert Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) into an exchange-traded fund (ETF). As a result, the court vacated the order regarding Grayscale and remanded the case back to the Commission.

Gensler emphasized that his agency has no negative feelings about any product. Their evaluation is based solely on the law: "The Commission evaluates any application filed by a national securities exchange through the lens of whether it complies with the Exchange Act and its implementing regulations, including whether it is designed to protect investors and the public interest. The Commission is neutral with respect to the specific companies, investments or assets underlying an ETF. If a security issuer and exchange complies with the Securities Act, the Exchange Act, and the Commission's rules, that issuer should be afforded the same access to our regulated markets as any other."

While we approved the listing and trading of certain s#pot bitcoin ETF shares today, we did not approve or endorse bitcoin. Investors should remain cautious about the myriad risks associated with bitcoin and products whose value is tied to crypto.towards the end, Gensler made his position even clearer.

Gensler emphasized that the approval of the cryptocurrency ETF applies solely to #bitcoin, which is not considered a security. "This should not be misinterpreted as an indication of the Commission's willingness to approve listing standards for asset-backed cryptocurrency securities. Nor does this approval reflect the Commission's position on the status of other #cryptocurrency assets under the federal securities laws or the current non-compliance with those laws by certain cryptocurrency asset market participants. As I have previously stated, <...> most cryptoassets are investment contracts and therefore subject to the federal securities laws."

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