Prominent investor Cathie Wood, head of Ark Invest, praised the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) researchers for their expertise. However, she pointed out that it’s the agency’s Chair, Gary Gensler, who seems to be an obstacle to the approval of spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs).
While in conversation with Natalie Brunell on the Coin Stories podcast, Wood emphasized Bitcoin’s potential and commented that the SEC has a deep understanding of the digital currency.
She remarked, “The knowledge and proficiency of the SEC team is undeniable. My perception is that the main hurdle might be Gary Gensler himself, although I can’t be certain, as such things would never be openly discussed.”
Furthermore, Wood questioned Gensler’s decision to greenlight Bitcoin Futures ETFs, which come with counterparty risks, while hesitating on Bitcoin ETFs that don’t carry the same risks.
Wood emphasized that their proposed Bitcoin ETF would have a direct backing by Bitcoin, with a one-to-one ratio, securely stored in Coinbase’s cold storage. She highlighted that this was the same rationale behind Grayscale’s success in its case.
Drawing attention to Gensler’s past challenges, Wood alluded to them as his “personal Vietnam”, suggesting they might be influencing his decisions. However, she expressed optimism about the SEC’s current trajectory, saying, “I believe the SEC is making progress.”
Wood expressed her confidence that the SEC wouldn’t stop at approving just one Bitcoin ETF. Instead, they would likely approve a series of them. She stressed the importance of research and education in the crypto space, reflecting one of her company’s core values.
She concluded with a hopeful tone, “With our emphasis on education, we aspire to be among those whose Bitcoin ETFs receive approval.”
Possibility of Multiple Bitcoin ETF Approvals
During a separate discussion on CNBC, Wood shared her insights regarding the SEC’s recent inquiries, interpreting them as a “shift in stance” that has kindled optimism within the crypto community regarding potential Bitcoin ETF endorsements.
She stated, “The mere fact that the SEC is now actively engaging and seeking clarity through their questions marks a significant behavioral shift. This, I believe, has heightened expectations that we might soon see approvals for one or more Bitcoin ETFs.”
In September, a bipartisan group of representatives pressed the SEC Chairman to promptly give the green light to spot Bitcoin ETFs. These lawmakers, from both Republican and Democratic sides, made a case to Gensler, emphasizing that a sanctioned product would bolster investor safety by providing clearer and more secure avenues to Bitcoin.
After facing rejection from the SEC on two earlier occasions, ARK 21Shares Bitcoin ETF took another swing at it, resubmitting its application earlier this year.