Not long ago, Gary Gensler – the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) – commented on how the agency would potentially unroll an approval path for a bitcoin-based exchange-traded fund (ETF). The news had some people dissatisfied given the circumstances of the rollout, and now Michael Sonnenshein – the CEO of Grayscale, one of the world’s largest bitcoin and crypto trusts – is throwing his two cents into the mix.
Gensler is considered way behind the times in the sense that he stated a bitcoin ETF could be approved granted it was based on crypto futures. This set a lot of people off considering futures are widely considered amongst both analysts and traders alike to be inferior products, and it seems Sonnenshein shares this view.
As the leader of Grayscale – which currently houses billions of dollars-worth of customer crypto funds – he says that the SEC would be making a serious mistake if it took this approach. In an interview, he comments:
It would be short sighted of the SEC to allow a futures-based product into the market before a spot product. They really should be allowing both products into the market at the same time and let investors choose which way they want.
Sonnenshein says that he has been looking for some time to convert all the bitcoin owned by Grayscale into an ETF. He claims that this is a smarter way to invest, and it gives customers more exposure to crypto with less risk. He states:
If a futures-based ETF comes to market without the ability for GBTC to convert to an ETF, it has the potential to harm investors who hold tens of billions of dollars’ worth of GBTC today outright, as well as the investors who have exposure to GBTC inside mutual funds, retirement accounts and other places.
In the past, Gensler has commented that crypto regulations need to take more of a stance when it comes to protecting users, and that exchanges need to comply more if they are to become more trustworthy in the future. He mentioned:
We just don’t have enough investor protection in crypto. Frankly, it’s more like the Wild West.
Will Decentralized Products Be a Target?
Winston Ma – the former managing director and head of North America at China Investment Corp. – explained in a recent discussion that the SEC is likely to go after decentralized crypto platforms in the future, claiming:
The decentralized exchanges are at the center of the creation of crypto products in the same way stable coins are at the center of the transactions of crypto products. With the SEC looking at the exchanges and the US Treasury looking at stable coins, the US crypto industry may soon embrace a completely new regulatory framework.
At press time, Grayscale possesses more than three percent of the world’s current bitcoin supply.