Dennis Kelleher, CEO of Better Markets, strongly discouraged the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) from approving a spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). Kelleher wrote a letter to SEC Secretary Vanessa Countryman on Jan 5, asserting that such approval would be against the fundamental principles of this body and create huge risks for investors.
This concern is grounded on the cryptocurrency industry’s history of criminal activities such as imminent fraud, which Kelleher suggests: “The approval of these spot Bitcoin ETPs would also render investors vulnerable to a market riddled from head-to-tail by both fraud and manipulation.
The revelation that more than 324,000 crypto users were victims of phishing scams in the year 216 and lost nearly $295 million worth of digital assets further fueled Kelleher’s anxieties. Issues of fraud and manipulation in the crypto market are so common that they have raised concerns about security among investors.
Kelleher also raised the issue of unintentionally legitimizing the crypto industry by approving spot Bitcoin ETFs. Critics, including Bloomberg ETF analyst James Seyffart, dismissed Kelleher’s stance. Seyffart emphasized the substantial efforts made by asset management firms in advancing their ETF applications.
Would be an absolutely criminal move for this to happen considering the time effort and energy from all these issuers AND from the SEC staff over the last few months https://t.co/QZR4pqcyga
— James Seyffart (@JSeyff) January 5, 2024
Debate Surrounds SEC Deadline for Bitcoin ETF Decision
Taking to social media, Seyffart criticized Kelleher’s position, highlighting the progress of firms seeking SEC approval. Fox Business journalist Eleanor Terrett echoed negative sentiments, recalling Kelleher’s past characterization of crypto as “worse than a fantasy.”
Amidst the debate, 11 spot Bitcoin ETF applicants submitted 19b-4 amendment forms before the close of business on January 5, marking a crucial stage in the SEC approval process. To list shares with direct exposure to crypto on U.S. exchanges requires completing S-1 documents.
The approval or rejection of the spot Bitcoin ETF by January 10 will substantially impact the crypto market. It will not only influence investors but also shape the industry’s standing in the eyes of the U.S. government.
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