Suing SEC Is a Possibility, Bitwise Chief Compliance Officer Says

“It’s about getting answers to some of the technical questions,” Katherine Dowling told CoinDesk TV’s “All About Bitcoin.”

AccessTimeIconJul 12, 2022 at 4:59 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 6:38 p.m. UTC
AccessTimeIconJul 12, 2022 at 4:59 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 6:38 p.m. UTC
Layer 2

Suing the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to learn why the regulator rejected Bitwise's bitcoin exchange-traded fund filing is a possibility, according to Chief Compliance Officer Katherine Dowling.

Dowling told CoinDesk TV's "All About Bitcoin" program the company has had active and positive dialogue with the regulatory agency since it rejected Bitwise’s spot bitcoin ETF proposal in 2019. Still, Bitwise is considering litigation.

If it goes to court, Bitwise will be following the lead of CoinDesk sister company Grayscale Investments, whose spot bitcoin ETF application was denied by the SEC several weeks ago. The company promptly filed suit in the federal district court in Washington, D.C.

“This type of litigation is really about answering technical questions,” Dowling said about any possible Bitwise lawsuit. “I would not put it off the table.”

As a former federal prosecutor for the U.S. Attorney's Office for a decade, Dowling said she does not think that “litigation is ever the most efficient approach.”

However, she does see litigation as a potential way crypto players like Bitwise can get clarity from regulators into their thinking.

“I think it’s more productive if you can engage in a dialogue, figure out what the obstacles are and answer those questions together in a productive manner,” she said. “But that isn’t always the approach that is going to work.”


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

CoinDesk - Unknown

Fran is CoinDesk's TV writer and reporter.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.