SEC did not ‘approve or endorse Bitcoin’ with ETF approval — Gary Gensler

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United States Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler has reiterated that his agency still doesn’t endorse Bitcoin (BTC) — despite approving 11 spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) on Jan. 10.

“While we approved the listing and trading of certain spot Bitcoin ETP shares today, we did not approve or endorse Bitcoin,” Gensler wrote in a Jan. 10 statement, just an hour after the historic approvals.

Gensler reiterated his agency’s skeptical understanding of the cryptocurrency, contrasting Bitcoin’s “speculative” nature with the utility of precious metals such as gold, silver and platinum. He claimed that Bitcoin was still used frequently to settle transactions in nefarious and illicit activities. 

However, there has also been mounting evidence to the contrary

“Though we’re merit neutral, I’d note that the underlying assets in the metals ETPs have consumer and industrial uses, while in contrast bitcoin is primarily a speculative, volatile asset that’s also used for illicit activity including ransomware, money laundering, sanction evasion, and terrorist financing.”

“Investors should remain cautious about the myriad risks associated with bitcoin and products whose value is tied to crypto,” Gensler added. 

On Jan. 10, the securities regulator approved the 19b-4 applications from ARK 21Shares, Invesco Galaxy, VanEck, WisdomTree, Fidelity, Valkyrie, BlackRock, Grayscale, Bitwise, Hashdex and Franklin Templeton.

The SEC approved eleven spot Bitcoin exchange traded products. Source: SEC

This is a developing story, and further information will be added as it becomes available.