“We have new leadership at the SEC, and with new leadership, at least there’s an opportunity for reconsideration,” said ErisX’s Chippas.
Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., a cryptocurrency skeptic, said the SEC’s focus should be elsewhere.
“It is hard to imagine that consideration and approval of cryptocurrency ETFs is the best use of the commission’s limited time and resources,” Sherman said in an email. “Cryptocurrencies will either eventually emerge as practical currencies and become even more useful tools for cyber criminals, tax evaders, terrorists, and human traffickers. Or they won’t catch on as a currency, and their value will decline, hurting investors.”
The SEC has yet to label bitcoin a security and does not regulate it. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission regulates bitcoin futures. As a result, states have moved ahead on their own, leaving a patchwork of regulations across the country. New York, for example, requires businesses to get a “BitLicense” if they engage in virtual currency transactions.
“Digital assets are here to stay,” said Sen. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., the first senator to own bitcoin, according to Fortune magazine. Her state pioneered a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies.