SEC Chair Gary Gensler Avoids Opining on Possibility of Ethereum ETF, Says Majority of Tokens Are Securities

Gary Gensler, Chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), says the approval of spot Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded funds (ETFs) this week doesn’t impact the potential greenlighting of other crypto financial products.

In a new interview on CNBC, host Andrew Ross Sorkin asks Gensler whether a recent court decision that drove the Bitcoin ETF approvals would set a precedent for the future blessing of an Ethereum (ETH) exchange-traded fund.

The SEC chair, however, chose not to opine on the likelihood of an ETH ETF approval.

“I look at what we did this week as it’s cabin to one non-security commodity called Bitcoin, like we’ve had gold spot exchange-traded products and silver exchange-traded products in the past, and approved in the past, this is cabin just to that one non-security commodity token.”

But Gensler did argue that the majority of digital assets are securities.

“[The crypto sector is] rife with conflicts, it’s rife with fraud and abuse. Without prejudging any one token, many of these tokens, I would suggest a majority of these tokens, are actually securities under the securities law. And so the platforms, the various places that you might buy or sell these crypto security tokens, need to come into compliance with the federal laws.”

The SEC approved 11 spot Bitcoin ETFs on Wednesday after rejecting applications for years. The regulator did greenlight Bitcoin futures ETFs back in 2021.

In August, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the SEC behaved in an “arbitrary and capricious” fashion when it rejected Grayscale’s application to convert its Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) into a spot ETF. Gensler cited the ruling as a critical factor in the approval of the current round of spot Bitcoin ETF applications.

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