Former SEC Chairman Jay Clayton suggested in an interview with CNBC. July 10 Regulators may soon feel compelled to approve Bitcoin spot ETFs.
Clayton explained that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) previously rejected Bitcoin spot ETFs while opting to approve futures Bitcoin ETFs based on the latter’s oversight sharing agreement and protections.
He suggested that the situation had changed, stating:
“I think what institutions are arguing is that those distinctions are gone and that spot products actually have less resistance.” [and] More Efficient For Investors…If They’re Right…It Will Be Hard To Resist The Approval Of A Bitcoin ETF. “
He did not predict when the SEC would approve spot bitcoin ETFs, but noted that the regulatory process is already taking time.
Clayton’s comments are critical given the recent resurgence of ETF applicants. BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, submitted a spot Bitcoin ETF proposal on June 15. That filing was followed by filings from several other asset managers, including Bitwise, WisdomTree, Invesco, Valkyrie, VanEck and Fidelity.
The SEC has not yet approved these applications, and many were resubmitted with changes in late June amid reports that they might be rejected.
Clayton comments on Bitcoin
During today’s CNBC appearance, Clayton also expressed surprise at Bitcoin’s (BTC) growth over the past few years.
He said that while Bitcoin resembled the stock market in 2015, it actually “didn’t look like it at all.” He observed that the status of the asset changed as companies with significant reputations determined that the market, custody and protection surrounding bitcoin were sufficient. These companies are now interested in engaging with digital assets, he said.
Clayton called the change “pretty remarkable” and “an incredible development.” He also said he did not expect this development when he served as SEC chairman from 2017 to the end of 2020. Clayton said he was skeptical of institutional bitcoin investments based on research that underpinned 90% of trades involving wash trades. He talks about apparent market manipulation and “dumping” by investors.
Clayton previously commented on other cryptocurrency developments at a Bloomberg event on June 8. There, he said cryptocurrency regulation requires nuance, and he appreciated what he called a “true” stablecoin with full asset backing.
Former SEC Chairman Jay Clayton first appeared on CryptoSlate, saying post-approval approval of a Bitcoin ETF could be “hard to resist.”