Former SEC chairman Jay Clayton today said that the approval of a spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) is “inevitable” despite the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) postponing decisions on several ETF proposals for 45 days.
His comments come at a gleeful time in the cryptocurrency industry, where the probability for an approved spot Bitcoin ETF by the end of 2023 just got better thanks to the recent court decision that sided with Grayscale Investments in its quest to transition the massive Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) into an ETF. The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the SEC to review Grayscale’s application again.
Spot Bitcoin ETF Approval Is ‘Inevitable’
Ex-SEC boss Jay Clayton believes the greenlighting of a spot Bitcoin ETF is still going to happen at some point.
Speaking in a CNBC interview Friday, Clayton said traditional finance heavyweights backing spot Bitcoin products marked a significant shift in how retail investors could gain exposure to BTC while being saved from the troubles of creating a wallet or having to purchase the benchmark cryptocurrency directly.
On Thursday, the Securities and Exchange Commission delayed until October making a decision on applications from BlackRock, Fidelity, VanEck, Invesco Galaxy, WisdomTree, Valkyrie, and Bitwise.
The agency now has an additional 45 days to approve, deny, or postpone the ETF applications from these seven crypto-heavy and traditional finance firms. The former SEC chair hopes to see some “progress on this going forward”.
“It is clear that Bitcoin is not a security. It is something that retail investors want access to, and importantly, some of our most trusted providers want to provide this product to the retail public. An approval is inevitable,” he added.
Clayton further notes that the “dichotomy” between a futures-based investment product and a cash product can’t continue for long. His view echoed that of U.S. Court of Appeals Circuit Judge Neomi Rao, who posited that the SEC had already granted the regulatory blessing to Bitcoin futures ETFs and pointed out that Grayscale’s offering was “materially similar”.
The Grayscale verdict was viewed as a welcome boon for a market ravaged by a regulatory clampdown and a spate of bankruptcies among once-enormous companies. As ZyCrypto reported recently, ETF analysts raised their estimates for the approval and launch of at least one spot Bitcoin ETF in the U.S. this year to 75% following the Grayscale ruling.