US Lawmakers Call for Bitcoin Spot ETF in Letter to SEC Chair Gensler

Congressmen Tom Emmer and Darren Soto questioned why the SEC is uncomfortable with a spot bitcoin ETF when it already allows the trading of bitcoin futures ETFs.

Nov 3, 2021 at 7:14 p.m. UTC
Updated Nov 3, 2021 at 8:18 p.m. UTC

U.S. Reps. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) and Darren Soto (D-Fla.) advocated for the trading of bitcoin spot exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in a strongly worded letter to U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Gary Gensler on Wednesday.

  • The letter questioned why the SEC is comfortable with allowing a derivatives-based bitcoin ETF but not a bitcoin spot ETF. It referred to the launch of the first bitcoin futures ETF in U.S., which started trading in October.
  • Emmer and Soto wrote that bitcoin spot ETFs are based directly on the asset and offer investors more protection than one based on derivatives.
  • “To be clear, we do not intend to say that one method of exposure is better than the other, but rather that unless there are clear and demonstrable investor protection advantages, investors should have a choice over which product is most suitable for them and their investment objectives,” the lawmakers wrote.
  • Last week, Steven McClurg, chief investment officer of Valkyrie Funds, which proposed its own bitcoin futures ETF, said the market probably won’t see a bitcoin spot ETF until 2022.


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.

Sandali Handagama is a CoinDesk reporter with a focus on crypto regulation and policy. She does not own any crypto.