The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has recently showcased a noticeable change in its stance towards the much-anticipated spot Bitcoin ETF. At the center of these discussions stands lawyer John E. Deaton, a vocal advocate for the cryptocurrency industry.
Deaton’s remarks followed a post by analyst Scott Melker, widely recognized as “The Wolf Of All Street”. Reacting to Melker’s observations, Deaton firmly stated, “Scott is correct.” Moreover, Deaton had previously expressed skepticism, predicting the SEC might present an extensive report, full of data or anecdotal evidence, to once again deny a spot Bitcoin ETF application. This assumption was based on an earlier SEC decision that faced criticism from the Appellate Court for being arbitrary.
However, Deaton doesn’t necessarily credit this shift to a change in SEC Chairman Gary Gensler’s perspective on Bitcoin. He noted that while Gensler can still criticize Bitcoin for potential associations with illicit activities, the SEC’s recent court losses, including the significant Grayscale lawsuit, likely impacted its stance.
Additionally, Deaton mentioned the “Larry Fink effect,” hinting at the influence of significant institutional players. Gensler prioritizes the opinions of donors and institutions over other stakeholders. Consequently, there’s a prevailing belief in the crypto community that Gensler might emulate the paths of former SEC Chair Jay Clayton and former SEC Director Bill Hinman, eyeing roles at leading institutions like Goldman or BlackRock post his SEC term.
Significantly, Bloomberg ETF analysts have illuminated the ongoing constructive dialogues between the SEC and Bitcoin ETF issuers. Topics of these discussions encompass crucial aspects like custodial arrangements, adherence to GAAP, risk disclosures, and the environmental concerns related to electricity consumption in mining. With these progressive talks, Bloomberg has upped the odds for a spot Bitcoin ETF approval to an optimistic 90%.
Besides the analysts, industry stalwarts are voicing their confidence, too. Notable figures like Mike Novogratz of Galaxy Digital and Cathie Wood from ARK Invest anticipate the SEC giving the green light to a spot Bitcoin ETF this year.