SEC chair Gensler reveals multiple Bitcoin ETF filings in the pipeline

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is currently reviewing eight to ten filings for possible exchange-traded products (ETFs) related to bitcoin, as revealed by SEC Chair Gary Gensler on Thursday. The anticipation of these approvals has triggered a notable upswing in the value of Bitcoin, driven by the prospect of a spot bitcoin ETF gaining recognition.

The key distinction lies in the fact that a spot bitcoin ETF would enable investors to gain direct exposure to the cryptocurrency through an exchange-listed product, unlike the existing ETFs, which are tethered to bitcoin futures contracts.

As of mid-day trading, Bitcoin’s value experienced a marginal 1.6% decline, resting at $33,958. However, this dip follows a remarkable 14% increase throughout the week, signifying the substantial impact that the potential ETF approvals are having on the market.

Chair Gensler disclosed, “They’ll come potentially to the five-member commission. I’m not going to prejudge them, but I don’t have anything on timing. They all have various different filing dates.”

Among the frontrunners in this race is Cathie Wood’s ARK Invest application, which currently holds a 240-day SEC comment period set to expire on January 10, 2024. The regulators will need to make a decision, either accepting or rejecting it, by that date.

Other notable firms, including BlackRock, Bitwise, WisdomTree, Fidelity, and Invesco, have also filed applications for bitcoin funds, underscoring the increasing interest in cryptocurrencies as investment vehicles.

Anticipation surrounding spot ETFs has been on the rise, particularly after the SEC chose not to appeal a court ruling that declared its previous rejection of Grayscale Investments’ application to convert its existing bitcoin trust into a spot bitcoin ETF as incorrect. The court has directed the SEC to reassess this decision, further intensifying expectations within the cryptocurrency market.