U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) official Hester Peirce sees the delayed approval of a spot Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF) as “squandered time.”
In a new interview with Natalie Brunell, Peirce, one of the SEC’s five appointed commissioners, says the regulator should reflect on what she argues were errors in the approval process.
“This has perplexed me for many years now, because I look at the standards that we have and I say, ‘Look, if a product meets the standards, it doesn’t really matter whether we like the underlying.’ The innovation with exchange-traded products is [they] bring investors access to a wide range of assets – securities and non-securities – through this vehicle, which is a securities vehicle, and that means that it’s easier for them to have in their portfolios. Perhaps it makes it easier for a lot of people to interact with an asset if it’s in that wrapper.
I understand that Bitcoin was a new thing – was a new thing. And so it took some time for the agency to get its arms around it, but really that isn’t the question that we should be asking when we’re approving these exchange-traded products. It’s about how the product itself will trade. And so I think it’s just a bit of fear of the unknown.”
The SEC approved 11 spot Bitcoin ETFs last week after rejecting applications for years. The regulator did, however, greenlight Bitcoin futures ETFs back in 2021.
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