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Alex Dovbnya

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is taking a second look at its previous decisions concerning Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs)

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is reevaluating its earlier decisions on Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs), including a pivotal ruling concerning digital asset manager Grayscale. 

This reexamination is in response to a federal appeals court order directing the SEC to review its previous denial of Grayscale’s application to convert its Bitcoin Trust into an ETF. The development could mark a potential change in the regulatory landscape for cryptocurrency-based financial products.

Gensler’s cautious stance

During a recent Senate Banking Committee hearing, the SEC Chairman was questioned about the criteria required for approving a spot Bitcoin ETF. 

The Chairman’s responses indicated that the SEC is still scrutinizing multiple aspects of Bitcoin and related financial products, including the Grayscale ruling

The specifics were not disclosed, but the tone suggested continued caution in assessing the market and infrastructure surrounding Bitcoin.

Spotlight on the Grayscale ruling

Last week, a directive from a federal appeals court necessitated that the SEC revisit its initial refusal to convert Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust into an ETF

The court ruling pointed out that Grayscale’s proposed product did not have material differences from Bitcoin futures exchange-traded products already present in the U.S. market. In response to the ruling, Grayscale issued a letter to the SEC, claiming that there were no valid reasons for treating their product differently from futures-based Bitcoin ETPs. 

However, it should be noted that the court order only requires a review of the application, not an automatic approval.

The decision to reevaluate the Grayscale application could have broad implications for the cryptocurrency sector. On the positive side, an approval could open the floodgates for traditional investment in Bitcoin, bolstering the digital currency’s legitimacy and market presence. Conversely, the SEC’s ongoing reservations echo larger uncertainties about market volatility and investor security.

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