U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair Gary Gensler has said in the past that he’s hesitant to approve spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) because of potential market manipulation.
Noted investor Cathie Wood suggested the real reason could be that Gensler has his eye on heading the U.S. Treasury.
During an appearance on the CNBC show Squawk Box on Tuesday, Wood disputed Gensler’s argument, noting that Bitcoin is a “decentralized, transparent network” where you can follow all of the activity online, making it highly unlikely there could be manipulation. And Gensler, a former global economics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), has the knowledge to understand that fact, Wood said.
“There’s speculation that he’s interested in the Treasury Secretary position at some point. What does the Treasury Secretary do? Very focused on the dollar,” said Wood.
Wood’s asset management firm ARK Invest is among several companies who have filed spot bitcoin ETF applications and are awaiting potential SEC approval. The SEC has currently only approved the bitcoin and Ethereum futures ETFs, which include pools of bitcoin-related assets.
Bitcoin spot ETFs, on the other hand, track the price of bitcoin by holding BTC in their portfolios.Late last month, a video of Gensler speaking at a panel in 2019 resurfaced where the then-professor criticized the SEC for an “inconsistent” approach to spot bitcoin ETFs.
“Bitcoin futures, and I think Ethereum futures and so forth, will exist, and Bitcoin ETFs have not, and that feels a little inconsistent to me,” said Gensler at the 2019 MIT Bitcoin Expo. He then noted that “though the laws aren’t exactly the same, they’re quite similar.”