2022 started on a very hectic schedule for the regional offices of the Securities and Exchange Commission at 200 Vesey Street in New York City.
The most anticipated approval of the first Exchange Traded Fund or ETF for Bitcoin failed to materialize.
I knew that after the declarations of Chairman Gensler on the reasons behind the approval of a Bitcoin Futures ETF and not Spot ones, the chances of getting anywhere soon the green light for the later class were very slim but what I was not prepared to witness was a No Go to Fidelity! which by all standards and metrics, is one of the largest and more influential assets managers of the world.
If the Commission is not satisfied about their capacity of running a fair shop with all their experience and their infrastructure, the message couldn’t be clearer.
Also, it is possible that the high number of little wins and little losses in the case against Ripple and one of the worst winters (no pun intended) in recent years are not helping either and I am sure that I am not the only that did expect the Chairman to be so cautious on anything that lives nearby Blockchain Street, given his factual knowledge deployed and shared on numerous lectures recorded and posted on YouTube.
Furthermore, the Commission exercise their right to request a 45 day extension to analyze two more applications out of the dozen that are piling up in their desks. Obviously, the approval of at least the first of the Bitcoin ETF would have been a serious boost for the industry and to awake in a good way the market.
We will need to wait for these administrative approvals a little longer, I guess.
However, there were two interesting events that occurred during the last week surrounded this situation.
The first happened during the BattleFin conference held in Miami Beach where I was member of a discussion panel with three other fellow Crypto Hedge Fund Managers and Crypto specialists and the moderator asked the million-dollar question… When do you think the SEC will approve the first BTC ETF? And the four of us shouted at the same time in a knee-jerk fashion “Not gonna happen anytime soon but who cares? They are currently plenty of ways for Institutional Investors to get exposure to Bitcoin!”
And the second was when the SEC itself approved the country’s 17th stock exchange, subsidiary of the Boston Exchange BOX, to incorporate blockchain technology. This without a doubt will open the gates for a thriving secondary market of digital securities that could act as magnifying agents of enterprises running crypto business models upon which Bitcoin and the largest Alts are going to be benefited from.
My takeout of all this is that in one hand the industry is quick enough is responding to the regulatory realities of the markets and in the other the Commission is starting to give away exploratory rights in certain market’s hot spot for us to jump in and develop.
And as a member of a Tokenized Crypto Hedge Fund, I am Ok with that.