The United States Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) has once again moved to delay its decision on spot Bitcoin ETFs. The applications affected this time around belong to Blackrock, an investment management giant. Additionally, the move has also delayed the crypto plans of Invesco, Valkyrie, and Bitwise.
Most of these firms had filed for a spot Bitcoin ETF in June 2023. The first decision to delay the ETF was made in late August 2023. In its latest decision, the SEC said,
“The Commission is instituting proceedings pursuant to Section 19(b)(2)(B) of the Act to determine whether the proposed rule change should be approved or disapproved (…) Institution of proceedings does not indicate that the Commission has reached any conclusions with respect to any of the issues involved.”
SEC Chairman gets grilled at Congressional hearing
The latest decision came a day after the SEC Chairman – Gary Gensler – was grilled at a US Congressional hearing. During the event that took place on Wednesday (27 September), Gensler continued to hold ground on his pessimistic stance on the crypto market.
The SEC head also criticized crypto companies for their way of handling customer funds, claiming that commingling of funds was “a recipe that’s not to led good results”. The remark came days before the court hearing of Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO of now-bankrupt crypto exchange – FTX.
The exchange collapsed in November 2022 after reports of its exchange token – FTT making up the majority of its balance sheet surfaced. During its bankruptcy process, information on funds commingling between Alameda and FTX also made headlines.
Furthermore, the chairman agreed that Bitcoin [BTC] was not a security, however, refused to make a decision on its commodity status. Gensler also said that the commission is yet to take action on the court’s order on its Grayscale decision.
The crypto asset management company had sought to convert its GBTC to a spot Bitcoin ETF, however, this move was turned down. The matter was taken to the courts, with the Judge concluding that the decision to reject was “arbitrary and capricious”.
Speaking about this matter, the SEC chair said,
“It’s still an active consideration of the commission”, further stating that “we have great respect for the courts.”