Bitcoin ETF Would Be Good for Investors and Regulators, Says Former CFTC Chairman

The SEC could use the ETF approval process to improve trading integrity on crypto exchanges, said Timothy Massad.

Jul 7, 2021 at 5:30 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 1:22 p.m. UTC

Former Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chairman Timothy Massad said in a Bloomberg op-ed that a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) would be good for investors and regulators, but the likelihood of that happening in the near future is low.

  • Massad said a bitcoin ETF would enable retail investors to invest in cryptocurrency without having to purchase it and deal with the complexities of custody.
  • The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) faces an important decision about cryptocurrency and whether to approve a bitcoin ETF, said the ex-CFTC chairman.
  • Massad highlighted that crypto exchanges are unregulated and investor protection is weak.
  • “The SEC does not have the authority to regulate these exchanges because it can only regulate exchanges that trade securities, and bitcoin and the other widely traded tokens are not securities,” Massad wrote.
  • The regulator could use the ETF approval process to improve transparency and integrity of trading on crypto exchanges,  Massad added.
  • Over the years, there have been numerous applications for a bitcoin ETF, and to date, the SEC has rejected all applications.
  • Many crypto market participants expect new SEC Chairman Gary Gensler, a former MIT professor who taught classes about bitcoin, to approve a bitcoin ETF later this year.

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