We’re Close to Bitcoin ETF Approval, Says Optimistic Bitwise Executive

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been in an unofficial fight with the cryptocurrency sector in general. The Commission is generally regarded as unsupportive of the sector especially with its repeated disapproval and postponement of its decision to allow Bitcoin Exchange Traded Funds (Bitcoin ETF). However, an executive from Bitwise Asset Management seems to believe strongly that the upcoming SEC ruling will come in the company’s favor.

Speaking to CNBC on its ETF Edge, Bitwise’s managing director and global head of research, Matt Hougan, is extremely bullish about the firm’s chances for approval. He stated:

“We’re closer than we’ve ever been before to getting a Bitcoin ETF approved.”

Bitwise Asset Management is one of the firms which for a long time, has been pursuing approval from the SEC on Bitcoin ETFs. It’s been an uphill journey for these firms, so much that the Cboe Global Markets who filed for its VanEck and SolidX Bitcoin ETF, recently withdrew its application for the second time. It was thought that the firm had no choice as it seemed that the SEC would have announced another disapproval.

Before now, the popular Winklevoss twins also filed to run a Bitcoin ETF a few years ago. They were rejected back in 2017 but made a second attempt which also ended in a rejection. However, even with all this, Hougan is quite optimistic as he believes the SEC can no longer dodge making a decision. Hougan added:

“Sometime before Monday, the SEC has to give its decision; yes or no. They have no more ways to postpone it at this point. We will hear clearly between now and Monday what they think, and then, depending on what we hear, we’ll go forward from there. But it should be a very exciting week.”

The approval of a Bitcoin ETF would be a landmark achievement for the cryptocurrency sector. The SEC in the past, has cited several reasons for its uncertain stance towards Bitcoin. The commission not only thinks that the market is a little too volatile, but it also believes that there’s too much of a chance for serious manipulation.

However, there is growing interest in the sector from not only private institutions but also governments as well. China, for example, seems to be ready to float its own digital currency. Also, two U.S. Congressmen have officially asked the Federal Reserve to strongly consider the possibility of tokenizing the dollar. According to them, the dollar might lose its “primacy” to the “wide adoption of digital fiat currencies.”

Hougan has also commented on general improvements seen in the sector today. He noted:

“Two years ago, there were no regulated, insured custodians in the Bitcoin market. Today,…there are big names like Fidelity and CoinBase [with] hundreds of millions of dollars of insurance from firms like Lloyd’s of London. Two years ago, there were no regulated crypto exchanges. Now, 6 of the 10 big crypto exchanges are regulated by the New York Department of State with market surveillance technologies in place.”

Last month, SEC Chairman Jay Clayton also told that even though there’s still a lot of work left to be done, the market is much closer to a Bitcoin ETF approval. The SEC deadline for approval or disapproval is only a few days away, on the 13th of October.

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