Members of the House Financial Services Committee from both sides of the aisle nudged the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair Gary Gensler to approve applications for spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs), which are currently being held up in regulatory limbo.
Reps. Mike Flood (R-NE), Tom Emmer (R-MN), Wiley Nickel (D-NC), and Ritchie Torres (D-NY) sent a letter to Gensler on Tuesday “to ensure the [SEC] does not continue to discriminate against spot bitcoin [ETFs].”
🚨NEW: A bipartisan letter sent to @GaryGensler by GOP members @GOPMajorityWhip and @USRepMikeFlood, and Democrats @RitchieTorres and @RepWileyNickel urging the @SECGov to approve a $BTC Spot ETF. 👇🏼 pic.twitter.com/7ygTYWIPyu
— Eleanor Terrett (@EleanorTerrett) September 26, 2023
Several firms, including BlackRock, Bitwise, WisdomTree, and VanEck, have filed applications with the SEC for spot bitcoin ETFs, though the regulating body has delayed its decision until October. A spot bitcoin ETF would allow investors to gain exposure to bitcoin without having to own it directly.
The SEC has argued in the past that it can’t approve a spot bitcoin ETF because the crypto market is not yet robust or regulated enough to prevent fraud and manipulation.
The letter cited a recent court victory by crypto asset manager Grayscale against the SEC, which determined that the SEC was wrong to reject Grayscale’s proposed bitcoin ETF without explaining its reasoning.
“The Court’s finding underscores the fundamental point,” the lawmakers wrote in their letter to Gensler. “A spot bitcoin ETP is indistinguishable from a bitcoin futures ETP. Thus, the SEC’s current posture is untenable moving forward.”
The lawmakers argued that a regulated spot bitcoin ETF “would provide increased protection for investors by making access to bitcoin safer and more transparent.”
The letter comes ahead of Gensler’s scheduled appearance before the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday to discuss SEC oversight.