SEC Chair Gensler Tempers Enthusiasm Over Ethereum ETF Applications

Ethereum ETF
Source: Pixabay

Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler has downplayed the possibility of Ethereum ETF applications being approved in the near future.

In a media briefing on January 24th, Gensler clarified that the recent approval Bitcoin ETFs by the agency was exclusive to Bitcoin.

This clarification comes amid expectations from some quarters that spot Ethereum ETFs might be the next in line for approval.

“As I said two weeks ago, that which we did with regard to bitcoin exchange traded products is cabined to this one commodity non-security and shouldn’t be read to be anything other than that,” Gensler said during the briefing when asked about ether ETFs.

Gensler noted that there is now “better disclosure” for investors who plan to buy Bitcoin ETFs.

“In that light, there’s also better disclosure,” Gensler said. “They’re listed on stock exchanges now rather than trading in over the counter markets. There were 10 or 11 that went live at the same time that brought a certain amount of competition. You’ve seen some competition that investors benefited from lower fees.”

There are varying levels of confidence among crypto experts regarding the approval of spot ether ETFs, with some speculating that an approval could come sometime in May. Shortly after Gensler’s comments, the SEC revealed that it had delayed its decision on BlackRock’s spot Ethereum exchange-traded fund (ETF) application to March.

Several prominent firms, including Fidelity and BlackRock, have already submitted applications for a spot Ethereum ETF.

On January 10, the agency greenlit the approval of 11 spot Bitcoin ETFs, a move that followed a D.C. court’s decision by three judges. However, the court ruled that the SEC needed to re-examine a bid related to Grayscale’s spot Bitcoin ETF application.

The SEC’s Legal Disputes

The SEC is currently entangled in legal battles with crypto exchanges Binance and Coinbase.

Gensler, when asked about his thoughts on the current cases, reiterated that noncompliant crypto companies were not “necessarily” providing appropriate disclosures.

“But stepping back from any one case, I just think that the investing public, if they’re interested in investing in crypto securities, they should be aware and careful that these crypto security tokens are not necessarily giving them the appropriate disclosures and they’re not getting those disclosures from these non compliant token operators,” Gensler said.