U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair, Gary Gensler, marked the 15th anniversary of Bitcoin’s white paper with a light-hearted message. In a recent statement, he playfully pondered whether Bitcoin’s mysterious creator, Satoshi Nakamoto, would dress up as himself for Halloween. However, Gensler also delivered a stern warning to cryptocurrency companies, stressing the necessity of adhering to securities regulations.
Gensler’s message, posted on a social media platform, began with well-wishes for Satoshi’s groundbreaking white paper, which laid the foundation for the cryptocurrency movement. He added a whimsical touch by wondering if Satoshi would disguise himself as Satoshi for Halloween. Concluding his post, Gensler advised crypto firms, “Any crypto companies tricking investors should start treating them to compliance with securities laws.”
This message sparked discussions on social media, primarily revolving around when Gensler might approve a spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). The SEC has yet to grant approval for a spot Bitcoin ETF, despite previously approving several ETFs tied to Bitcoin futures contracts. Gensler has consistently regarded all cryptocurrency tokens as securities, with the exception of Bitcoin.
Notably, Gensler mentioned that the SEC is currently evaluating eight to ten spot Bitcoin ETF applications. Public records reveal that 12 such applications have been submitted to the SEC, including Grayscale Investments’ request to transform its Bitcoin trust (GBTC) into a spot Bitcoin ETF. Other applicants encompass prominent names like ARK Investment Management, Blackrock, Bitwise, Wisdomtree, Fidelity, Vaneck, and Invesco. Eight applications have potential review dates in the first quarter of the following year, while three are scheduled for the second quarter.
Market analysts, including those at JPMorgan, anticipate the SEC to approve multiple spot Bitcoin ETFs simultaneously. The recent surge in Bitcoin’s price was partly attributed to speculation about Blackrock, the world’s largest asset manager, launching its spot Bitcoin ETF. Bernstein Research suggested that a spot Bitcoin ETF seems highly likely to become a reality in January.