Gensler Attributes Grayscale Ruling Prompted SEC’s Soft Stance on Bitcoin ETFs

The head of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has hinted at softening the stance on Bitcoin exchange-traded funds. Gary Gensler signaled a softening of the Commission’s stance regarding the pending applications for Bitcoin ETFs since Grayscale challenged SEC’s perennial dismissal.

Gensler’s recent pronouncement was indicative of the SEC’s shifting perspective and treatment of spot Bitcoin exchange-traded products (ETPs). The change follows the court directive to the SEC to consider Grayscale’s bid to convert the trust into Bitcoin ETF. 

Gensler Suggestive of SEC New Perspective Since Court Ruling

Gensler responded in his CNBC appearance on Thursday, December 14, when pressed on the pending applications for spot Bitcoin ETFs. He indicated that the SEC faces eight to twelve filings currently under review.

The SEC chair indicated that the Commission has religiously dismissed the applications in the past. He indicated that such occurred before the courts weighed in on such bids. 

Gensler’s subsequent statement suggested the regulator could be changing its perspective on Bitcoin. In particular, he illustrated that the agency was taking a different look at the applications based on the court rulings. 

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Gensler was pressed for clarification by CNBC news anchor Sara Eisen whether the court ruling refers to the famous win by Grayscale. The chair turned noncommittal, choosing to state that the SEC is guided by the laws passed by Congress relative to the courts’ interpretation.  

Gensler indirectly referred to the August ruling where a federal judge differed with the SEC’s decision to dismiss Grayscale Investments’ bid to ETF offering using its Bitcoin Trust (GBTC). 

Grayscale Investment’s win over the SEC coincides with a period when the Commission faces applications from Wall Street traditional finance (TradFi) entities. The applicants led by BlackRock are comprised of leading asset managers, including Galaxy, Invesco, and Fidelity. Also in the race are VanEck, Bitwise, and Valkyrie, among others. Market observers recently admitted the delay in deciding on the applications. Nonetheless, the analysts vouched for early January approval for a batch of the applications. 

Gensler Sidestepping Inquiries on ETF Applications

Appearing in an earlier interview hosted by Bloomberg’s Kailey Leinz on the day, Gensler dodged the questions on the filings for the spot Bitcoin products. Instead, he reflected on the recently announced changes to the country’s treasury market as the Commission’s priority. 

Gensler’s conduct during the two Thursday interviews caught the attention of US representative Bryan Steil. The politician’s comment on X decried Gensler’s move to obfuscate on crypto during a press conference similar to hind conduct during the committee hearings. 

Steil lamented that the SEC chair hardly desires to explain the regulator’s aggressive approach that is repeatedly pushing crypto projects, talents, and innovation offshore. 

Representative Steil concurred with Bloomberg analyst James Seyffart, who profiled Gensler as rarely giving clear responses. 

Editorial credit: CryptoFX /

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