Gensler Reiterates Support for Futures-Based Bitcoin ETFs

The SEC chairman struck a similar tone in August, igniting a rush in tailor-made ETF filings.

Sep 29, 2021 at 5:13 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 29, 2021 at 9:41 p.m. UTC

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Gary Gensler reiterated his support Wednesday for a narrow class of bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that would invest in futures contracts instead of the crypto itself.

Gensler singled out bitcoin ETFs, which invest in futures contracts that trade on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and register under the Investments Company Act of 1940. The so-called ‘40 Act “provides significant investor protections,” he said in prepared remarks for a Financial Times conference: “I look forward to staff’s review of such filings.”

He struck a similar tone in an August speech that ignited a rush in tailor-made bitcoin futures ETF filings. None has been approved by the SEC, but industry observers expect decisions as early as October.

The SEC is reviewing almost two dozen ETF filings for bitcoin, bitcoin futures, ether and ether futures products.

Investors haven’t been quite as eager to plow into bitcoin futures-linked products. One bitcoin futures mutual fund has amassed only $15 million in assets two months after launch, according to a tweet from Eric Balchunas, an analyst for Bloomberg.

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