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SEC Chair Gensler Tempers Enthusiasm Over Ethereum ETF Applications

Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler has downplayed the likelihood of Ethereum ETF applications receiving approval in the immediate future.

During a press conference held on January 24th, Gensler clarified that the recent approvals granted for Bitcoin ETFs were exclusively for Bitcoin.

This clarification has arisen in response to speculations in certain circles that Ethereum ETFs might be the next in line to gain approval.

Gensler emphasized, “As I mentioned two weeks ago, the actions we took concerning Bitcoin exchange-traded products are specific to this single non-security commodity and should not be construed as extending to any other assets.” This statement was made in response to inquiries about the possibility of Ethereum ETFs.

He also highlighted that there is now enhanced disclosure for investors interested in purchasing Bitcoin ETFs.

“In this context, Gensler also emphasized the improved transparency in these products,” he stated. “They are now listed on stock exchanges rather than being traded in over-the-counter markets. When around 10 or 11 of these products were launched simultaneously, it introduced healthy competition, leading to benefits for investors such as reduced fees.”

Crypto experts hold varying levels of optimism concerning the approval of spot Ethereum ETFs, with some speculating that approval could potentially come as early as May. Following Gensler’s remarks, the SEC disclosed that it had postponed its decision on BlackRock’s application for a spot Ethereum exchange-traded fund (ETF) until March.

Notably, well-known companies like Fidelity and BlackRock have already submitted applications for spot Ethereum ETFs.

On January 10th, the SEC granted approval for 11 spot Bitcoin ETFs, a move that followed a decision by a panel of three judges in a D.C. court. However, the court ruled that the SEC needed to re-evaluate an application related to Grayscale’s spot Bitcoin ETF.

The SEC’s Legal Disputes

The SEC is presently embroiled in legal disputes with cryptocurrency exchanges Binance and Coinbase.

Regarding his perspective on these ongoing cases, Gensler emphasized that crypto firms failing to comply with regulations might not be offering adequate disclosures. He expressed, “However, if we take a broader view beyond any specific case, I believe that individuals looking to invest in cryptocurrency securities should exercise caution and be aware that these crypto security tokens may not always provide them with the requisite disclosures. Furthermore, these non-compliant token operators may not be furnishing such disclosures.”

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Cryptocurrency is essentially virtual money that operates in a decentralized manner, not through a bank but directly on multiple independent computers.

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