How the SEC “dug into a hole” by not approving a Bitcoin ETF

Pro crypto Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Commissioner Hester Pierce talked about the U.S. current regulatory landscape on Bitcoin’s Association YouTube channel.

The Commissioner revealed that some progress has been made to change the approach the regular have on digital assets.

Pierce has chosen to focus on the innovations brought by digital assets and cryptocurrencies and their benefits to consumers. Her colleagues at the regulatory body have taken a largely opposite stance.

The Commissioner highlighted the importance that flexibility and the ability to a point of view quickly have in this field. The Commissioner has repeatedly called for approval of a Bitcoin-based Exchange Traded Fund (ETF). Her requests have been ignored by the regulator. Pierce said:

What I would urge my fellow regulators and people at the Fed to think is to think not only to have the reaction of looking at where the negatives are but to really look for the positives (…). I would hope they won’t ruled out the positive things that could happen in the purely private sector as well (…). Don’t view this (crypto regulation) as a competition between the private and public sector.

Pierce asked his fellow commissioners to take a “more optimistic” stance. A regulator that becomes an obstacle to innovation, in the Commissioner’s view, will take lose-lose actions for all parties.

For Pierce, the crypto industry is in its infancy. Eventually, she believes that its use cases may be integrated into various areas to remove “single points of failure” and increase the “resilience” of the financial system. The Commissioner invited to see “the whole picture”.

The SEC has rejected the launch of a Bitcoin ETF. However, Pierce believes that the interest the cryptocurrency has recently received is changing how her fellow regulators view the asset. The approval of Gary Gensler as chairman of the SEC, she said, could bring a different vision to the institution.

The commissioner hopes Gensler will be open to the idea of creating a “safe harbor” program within the U.S. This program would provide more clarity in the industry and facilities a conversation between the U.S. regulators.

A “Safe Harbor” could be a more “productive” alternative than no action which is “what has been done so far”. On the possibility of a Bitcoin ETF being approved in the U.S., Pierce said:

(Institucions) want access to crypto trough a regulated market. It makes sense for us to consider how to do that (…). We’ve dug ourselves into a little bit of a hole. A lot of people are looking for a way to access the asset class. We waited a long time to approved this kind of product.

The Commissioner said she is not biased to a particulate network; her main interest is to provide clarity “early”.

Canada’s ETF hits $1 billion

Meanwhile, Senior ETF analyst for Bloomberg, Eric Balchunas, reported on the progress of Canada’s Bitcoin ETF. Approved early March, the financial product in that country has managed to break $1 billion. The expert said:

the Canada ETF market is 1/27th the size of US, so proportionally speaking this is like a US ETF hitting $27b within a month, which hasn’t ever even come close to happening.

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