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Is Ethereum ETF BlackRock’s Next Win? SEC Chair Gary Gensler Remains Skeptical

2 mins
Updated by Bary Rahma
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In Brief

  • BlackRock, with a 576-1 ETF approval record, eyes approval for a spot Ethereum ETF by the SEC, following its success with Bitcoin ETFs.
  • The crypto community is optimistic about Ethereum ETF approval by May 23, spurred by BlackRock's application and regulatory developments.
  • SEC Chair Gary Gensler expresses regulatory caution but doesn't dismiss the potential for crypto innovation within a compliant framework.
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BlackRock, the world’s leading asset manager with an unparalleled record of 576-1 for exchange-traded funds (ETFs) approvals, eyes its next potential victory. The potential approval of a spot Ethereum ETF by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

This comes after the firm, alongside 13 institutional behemoths, celebrated the launch of the first spot Bitcoin ETFs in the US on January 10, marking a monumental moment for cryptocurrency investors.

Ethereum ETF Approval Looms

BlackRock’s foray into the Bitcoin ETF market bolstered confidence among crypto enthusiasts. With over $8 trillion in assets under management and a near-perfect track record, its endorsement of crypto ETFs has catalyzed optimism. Subsequently hinting at a broader acceptance and integration of digital currencies into the mainstream financial system.

The SEC’s nod to spot Bitcoin ETFs has ignited speculation within the crypto community regarding the fate of Ethereum ETFs. Particularly, in light of BlackRock’s November 2023 application for a spot Ethereum ETF. With the decision deadline set for May 23, the stakes are high.

For instance, Eric Balchunas, a senior analyst at Bloomberg, attributed a 70% chance of approval for the Ethereum ETF. He reflected a cautiously optimistic outlook bolstered by recent regulatory developments.

“I don’t see any reason for [the SEC] to deny [spot Ethereum ETFs] given they have approved the [futures Ethereum ETFs]… It would be illogical and technically they could open themselves up for another lawsuit,” Balchunas said.

Read more: Ethereum (ETH) Price Prediction 2024/2025/2030

Ethereum Price Performance
Ethereum Price Performance. Source: TradingView

However, the path to approval is fraught with regulatory caution and scrutiny. The recent remarks from SEC Chair Gary Gensler highlight a cautious stance toward cryptocurrency investments. Indeed, he emphasized the agency’s ongoing concerns over potential risks associated with Bitcoin and, by extension, other digital currencies.

Despite approving Bitcoin ETFs, Gensler’s comments reflect a deliberate approach to regulation aimed at safeguarding investors against fraud and market manipulation while acknowledging the complexities of the crypto market.

“This is a field that has been rife with fraud and manipulation, and look at all the bankruptcies. It’s entity, after entity, after entity… We really do look to ensure as best we can there’s no fraud or manipulation, but one of the challenges of the Bitcoin market is that so much is traded on trading platforms that are not compliant with our laws,” Gensler emphasized.

Gensler’s skepticism extends to the broader crypto trading environment. He also highlighted the volatility of Bitcoin and questioned the utility of many cryptocurrencies. Still, his insistence on compliance suggests a regulatory framework that does not outright dismiss the potential of crypto to innovate.

As the May deadline approaches, whether Ethereum will follow in Bitcoin’s ETF footsteps remains a topic of intense speculation. BlackRock’s application represents a litmus test for the SEC’s willingness to further integrate cryptocurrencies into regulated financial products.

With a track record of 576-1, BlackRock’s bid for an Ethereum ETF encapsulates the narrative of cryptocurrency’s journey from the fringes to the forefront of financial innovation.

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Bary Rahma
Bary Rahman, a talented journalist, graduated from New York University with a degree in Journalism. Skilled in SEO, she has worked with CNN, showcasing her investigative skills and storytelling abilities. In addition to her journalistic accomplishments, Bary has contributed her expertise as a content writer for Binance, crafting insightful articles on the dynamic crypto industry. Her unique fusion of journalism and SEO makes her a versatile and highly respected figure in the industry.