The approval of a spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) appears imminent despite recent delays, according to former SEC Chair Jay Clayton.
In an interview this week, Clayton stated he believes the approval of a spot Bitcoin ETF that would allow retail investors direct access to the cryptocurrency itself is “inevitable.” His comments come on the heels of a ruling by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in favor of Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust, which many analysts believe boosts the chances of SEC approval of a spot Bitcoin ETF.
“It is clear that Bitcoin is not a security,” said Clayton. “It is clear that Bitcoin is something retail investors want access to. Some of our trusted providers want to provide this product to the retail public.”
The SEC previously delayed making a decision on several proposed spot Bitcoin ETFs until at least October. While this delay was seen as disappointing by some Bitcoin advocates, analysts at Bloomberg have raised the probability of approval to 75% by the end of 2023 given the Grayscale ruling and growing public support.
Proponents argue a spot Bitcoin ETF in the U.S. would allow mainstream retail investors easier access to investing directly in Bitcoin without having to deal with the complexities of cryptocurrency exchanges and wallets. However, SEC officials have previously expressed concerns around volatility, manipulation and adequate liquidity in Bitcoin markets.
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