AMBCrypto Weekly

SEC’s Hester Peirce says we have to ‘confront this fact’ about Bitcoin ETF


Much of the talk in the American crypto space lately has surrounded the question of regulation, or the lack of it. Comments by the Fed and the SEC denying any plans to outright ban the industry has sent Bitcoin and other alts pumping to monthly highs recently.

However, a cloud of uncertaint­y still hovers over investors, as the central question remains unanswered. Which cryptocurr­ency is a security and how does one determine it?

Declaratio­ns made by former SEC employees could give an insight into this. For instance, the two top cryptocurr­encies, Bitcoin and Ether, have long been deemed to officially not be securities, as clarified by the former SEC Chair Jay Clayton in 2019, and Director of Corporate Finance William Hinman in 2018.

While other cryptocurr­encies have remained in the grey area since then, the current SEC Chief Gary Gensler doesn’t seem too keen on the previous classifica­tion either.

However, another SEC Commission­er, also known as crypto mom, Hester Peirce believes individual viewpoints hardly have a place in such matters.

This is because all five SEC Chairs have similar voting rights. So it’d be more productive for the agency to come up with a proper framework providing clarity to the industry as a whole. Hinman’s 2018 speech, however, was a step in the positive direction, according to Peirce, who said,

“I was happy to see someone at the SEC finally grappling with the idea that you might not want to have these things be deemed and treated as securities for their entire life... that there are complexiti­es when you try to apply securities law in this space.”

The speech in question has also been a point of contention since the SEC’s lawsuit against Ripple began late last year. The crypto company scrambled to argue how it was unfair to bestow special treatment on the top cryptocurr­encies while classifyin­g its own token, XRP, as a security.

While regulatory uncertaint­y seems omnipresen­t within the crypto space, another aspect that has left investors waiting impatientl­y has been the approval of a Bitcoin ETF. The only such ETF that has ever received official support in the US is one that would be backed by Bitcoin futures, unsurprisi­ngly amidst much criticism.

“Crypto mom” opined that giving investors as many options as possible instead of focusing solely on futures would be a more preferable course of action.

In a recent video, Analyst Coin Bureau (guy.eth) had highlighte­d the same, stating that products based on futures contracts were highly volatile and less liquid.

However, this has hardly deterred investors to already start betting on these contracts and driving up Bitcoin’s price exponentia­lly. This came as rumors of an impending approval continued.

The wait, however, might be longer than anticipate­d. CFRA Research’s Todd Rosenbluth recently told CNBC that the approval of over a dozen pending applicatio­ns might be deferred till the next year until some regulatory clarity is granted.

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