Cathie Wood Points Finger at Gensler for Delay in Spot Bitcoin ETFs

Cathie Wood, the renowned leader of asset manager Ark Invest, has expressed her belief that Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler is the primary obstacle to the approval of proposed spot Bitcoin ETFs. Wood emphasized that the agency’s staff members possess deep knowledge about cryptocurrencies, indicating that the impediment appears to be at the level of Gensler himself. She made these comments during an interview with Coin Stories podcaster Natalie Brunell.

In Wood’s view, the SEC staff members exhibit a robust understanding of Bitcoin and its advantages. She specifically referred to her firm’s ARK 21Shares Bitcoin ETF, which re-submitted its application earlier this year after two previous rejections by the SEC. Wood questioned Gensler’s decision to permit a Bitcoin futures ETF, which carries counterparty risk, while withholding approval for a Bitcoin ETF, which lacks such risk, especially when her firm’s ETF would be fully backed by Bitcoin, stored securely in cold storage at Coinbase.

Wood suggested that Gensler’s stance might be influenced by his past experiences, characterizing it as his “personal Vietnam” coming back to haunt him. Despite this, Wood expressed optimism, believing that the SEC is now moving forward. She also anticipated the approval of a group of Bitcoin ETFs rather than just one.

The pressure to approve a spot Bitcoin ETF intensified following Grayscale Investments’ victory in August. Three judges in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled that the SEC had to re-examine its application for a spot Bitcoin ETF. Although the SEC announced it would not appeal the ruling, the subsequent steps remain unclear.

Lawmakers also exerted pressure on Gensler, urging him to urgently allow for a regulated spot Bitcoin ETF after the court ruling. They argued that approving such a product would enhance investor protection by providing transparent and safer access to Bitcoin.

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