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Lawmakers urge SEC Chair Gensler to allow spot bitcoin ETFs 'immediately'

source-logo  theblock.co  + 8 more 26 September 2023 20:10, UTC

A group of Republican and Democratic lawmakers pressed Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler to urgently allow the listing of a spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund following a significant court ruling.

Reps. Mike Flood, R-Neb., Tom Emmer, R-Minn., Ritchie Torres, D-N.Y. and Wiley Nickel, D-N.C., urged Gensler to allow those listings, arguing a regulated spot bitcoin ETF would increase investor protection by making access to bitcoin more transparent and safer, according to a letter sent Tuesday.

"Congress has a duty to ensure the SEC approves investment products that meet the requirements set out by Congress," they said. "To that end, we urge you to approve the listing of spot-bitcoin ETPs immediately."

Last month, Grayscale Investments secured a win when three judges in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled that the SEC had to re-review its bid for a spot bitcoin ETF. This came after Grayscale sued the agency last year after its proposal for spot bitcoin ETF was rejected.

Differential treatment

The court specifically addressed the SEC's differential treatment of spot bitcoin ETFs and similar funds based on futures contracts, which the regulator has approved.

"The Court’s finding underscores the fundamental point," the lawmakers said. "A spot bitcoin ETP is indistinguishable from a bitcoin futures ETP. Thus, the SEC’s current posture is untenable moving forward."

The SEC did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Block.

The SEC has not yet greenlit a spot bitcoin ETF, although big name players including BlackRock and Fidelity have submitted applications for funds over the past several months.


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