Nov 20, 2023

Hermine Wong, principal and former SEC special counsel, weighs in on the outlook for spot bitcoin ETF approvals in the U.S. as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) delays decisions on applications for Franklin Templeton and Global X. When it comes to a timeline for the regulator's decision, Wong notes that she probably wouldn't bet on January 2024 for a decision at this point.

Video transcript

What do you make of these application delays? Are we going to see an approval of a spot Bitcoin ETF next year? Maybe I wouldn't, I would not put bet on uh on January of next year. And these delays I think are symptomatic of the general product that is being offered. So there, the SEC is delaying a whole host of them post the grey scale decision. We shouldn't be surprised that they're not going to go through until they're comfortable with all of them. Uh I mean, you know, before I deleted Twitter, of course, you had a lot of people on there that were saying things like, well, if it, if Blackrock and Fidelity are on it, then this is gonna happen because they have all this money and, and they know how to do things and they can tell the sec what to do because that's how the world works and you don't know anything, please. Um So tell me, I, I, is that actually a legitimate argument that all of us silly people who think that that regulators at the end of the day do have some amount of power over even the largest asset managers can say, look, we, we just don't want this out there and, and do you think that that's something they will do? It's, I think it's less that they just don't want it out there as much as we saw in the gray scale decision. What they want to continue to avoid. Right. They don't want to have any more losses. They suffered a huge loss on the arbitrary and capricious decision. They don't want to also suffer a loss in some of the other things that the court has suggested that they might lose on. And so one other thing that they are probably keeping in mind is how much these spot ETF S are going to probably change the investing market. We know, for example, that right now financial advisors aren't really advising people to diversify into Bitcoin. These are retail investors. Right. They're like maybe 12% but certainly that would go up to 77%. And I think that's what the SEC is taking a look at is that once they're comfortable with all, we'll probably see them say yes to all. But at the same time until they're comfortable with all, we're not going to see some sort of trickle effect of one after another. Slowly.

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