Former chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Jay Clayton, has expressed his belief that U.S. securities regulators will likely approve a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). In an interview with CNBC on September 1, Clayton discussed the challenges faced by the SEC in regulating the cryptocurrency market and expressed optimism about the future of Bitcoin ETFs.
Challenging Role of the SEC
According to Clayton, the SEC’s role in regulating the cryptocurrency industry has been challenging from the start. When cryptocurrencies first emerged, the SEC had to deal with offerings that were clearly non-compliant with securities laws. However, as the market has evolved, the SEC now has to navigate the complexities of broader crypto offerings, some of which have shown promise. Despite the challenges, Clayton believes that the SEC is on the right path towards approving a Bitcoin ETF.
During the interview, Clayton made it clear that he does not consider Bitcoin to be a security. While he did not disclose whether he would have approved a spot Bitcoin ETF if he were still in charge of the SEC, his statement reflects the growing recognition of Bitcoin as a legitimate asset class.
Optimism for ETF Approvals
Clayton expressed optimism about the potential approval of Bitcoin ETFs, citing the SEC’s previous approval of Bitcoin futures ETFs. He believes that the dichotomy between futures products and cash products, such as spot Bitcoin ETFs, cannot continue indefinitely. Clayton emphasized that the SEC’s only objection to spot Bitcoin ETFs in the past was the lack of surveillance-sharing mechanisms and participation from large institutions. It seems that these concerns are being addressed, paving the way for future approvals.
Clayton’s comments came shortly after the SEC announced a delay in its decisions on several proposed Bitcoin ETFs. The regulator is set to reach a decision on these ETFs and the associated rule changes starting in mid-October. The SEC will carefully consider the proposals and either accept or reject them based on their adherence to securities laws and market demand.
Response to Anthony Pompliano
Many of Clayton’s statements were in response to Anthony Pompliano, who argued in a separate CNBC interview that a spot Bitcoin ETF would be approved and could bring in billions of dollars in investments. While Clayton did not directly address Pompliano’s comments, his overall optimism about the future of Bitcoin ETFs aligns with Pompliano’s bullish outlook.
Former SEC chair Jay Clayton believes that U.S. securities regulators will likely approve a Bitcoin ETF in the near future. Despite the challenges faced by the SEC in regulating the cryptocurrency market, Clayton sees the approval of a spot Bitcoin ETF as inevitable. The SEC’s previous approval of Bitcoin futures ETFs and the addressing of concerns surrounding surveillance-sharing and institutional participation indicate a positive trajectory for the cryptocurrency industry. As the SEC continues to evaluate proposed Bitcoin ETFs, the investment community eagerly awaits the regulator’s decision on this potentially groundbreaking financial product.