American regulators still veering away from a Bitcoin-backed ETF

The SEC in America remains unconvinced by a Bitcoin-backed exchange traded fund…

The saga of American regulators and cryptocurrency continues, as once again the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the States has poured cold water on plans for a Bitcoin-backed exchange traded fund (ETF).

Whilst in this case it’s not specifically ruled on an application before it, the latest setback has come from the SEC’s chairman, Jay Clayton. Speaking at a conference in New York yesterday, he said that the SEC is looking to give the green light to ETFs with assets that are “free from the risk, or significant risk, of significant application”. And right now, cryptocurrencies aren’t fitting that description in the view of the SEC. That, combined with the “risk of theft or disappearance”, is what’s slowing down approvals.

A Bitcoin-backed ETF is viewed by many to be a crucial step towards a more mainstream acceptance of the currency and its ilk, and several applications sit before the SEC. It’s knocked most of them back this year, which at one stage played havoc with the crypto price as a consequence. If anything, there now feels like an air of resignation within the crypto community whenever the SEC has to rule on something crypto related.

Separately, the SEC has been closing in on ICOs and an assortment of cryptocurrency firms, as it looks to strengthen its regulation of the marketplace. Expect more of that too over the coming months, and – we’d suggest – don’t expect to see the approval of a crypto-backed ETF anytime soon.

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