SEC’s Gensler reluctantly approves a bitcoin ETF, but the animosity remains

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has recently approved the listing and trading of a group of spot bitcoin ETFs, a decision that reflects Chairman Gary Gensler’s evolving stance on cryptocurrency. In a recent statement, Gensler acknowledged that the SEC’s approval came as a result of changing circumstances, particularly after losing a key court case last August.

Despite the approval, Gensler remains wary of cryptocurrency as a whole. He continues to engage in legal battles with the crypto community, asserting that most crypto assets should be classified as securities under the purview of the SEC. Gensler’s approval of bitcoin ETFs does not signal a shift in his overall approach towards cryptocurrency regulation.

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While the approval of bitcoin ETFs may make it easier for Wall Street firms to recommend the cryptocurrency to clients, Gensler emphasized that broker-dealers must still adhere to existing rules and standards. This includes following Regulation Best Interest, which requires brokers to act in the best interest of their clients when making investment recommendations.

Gensler also noted that bitcoin is primarily a speculative and volatile asset often associated with illicit activities. Despite approving the listing and trading of certain spot bitcoin ETF shares, Gensler made it clear that the SEC does not endorse or support bitcoin.

Overall, Gensler’s approach to regulating cryptocurrency remains cautious, and the approval of bitcoin ETFs may not necessarily indicate a significant shift in the SEC’s stance on crypto assets. It will be interesting to see how the cryptocurrency market continues to evolve in light of these developments.

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