Gary Gensler, the crypto-friendly chairman of the US Securities and Exchange Commission Exchange Commission (SEC), has expressed his support for cryptocurrency ETFs. However, he stressed that this was his personal opinion and had nothing to do with the regulator's plans to approve a proposal.
Currently, the regulator has about 20 proposals for Bitcoin and Ethereum-based ETFs. Some enthusiasts expect ETFs to be approved as early as October 2021. Others, however, remain skeptical as the regulator is generally wary of the cryptocurrency business.
So far, the SEC has been known to scrutinize cryptocurrency companies. The most controversial case involved Ripple and began in late 2020, leading to a huge drop in the coin's price. In September 2021, CoinIdol, a world blockchain news outlet, reported that the regulator threatened to take Coinbase to court if the company launched its lending platform in the US.
Probably for this reason, Gensler emphasized in his speech at the Future of Asset Management North America Conference that the positive stance on crypto ETFs is his personal one and does not reflect any actual plans of SEC.
Despite this controversy in the general attitude, Gensler's speech has triggered a positive momentum in the price of bitcoin. It went back above the $43,000 mark. At press time, BTC is trading at $42,950, but still in green.
Considering that this is not really big news, as there are no actual plans to approve a crypto ETF, the mere fact that the cryptocurrency flagship has turned from red to green is quite telling.
It's hard to imagine how much higher bitcoin can go when the ETF proposal is finally approved. The support from the chairman of SEC is really good news for the industry. However, this is no guarantee that the industry will not come under regulatory pressure, as investor protection is still a top priority for the watchdog.