The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has approved 11 spot bitcoin ETFs after a rollercoaster of events that have left a sour taste in the mouths of crypto proponents, including SEC commissioner Hester Peirce.
Crypto traders have long awaited the historic announcement made on Wednesday, and widely celebrated the decision. The SEC approved applications from Blackrock, ARK, and WisdomTree, to name a few.
SEC commissioners reportedly held a vote, with three in favor and two against. Surprisingly, SEC chair Gary Gensler approved, along with Mark Uyeda and an expected yea from bitcoin proponent Hester Peirce. Commissioners Crenshaw and Lizárraga appear to have voted against the spot bitcoin ETFs.
Following the approval, commissioner Peirce shared a biting critique of the SEC’s long and winding journey to “begrudgingly” accept these ETFs.
“We squandered a decade of opportunities to do our job,” Peirce wrote. “Today’s order does not undo the many harms created by the disparate treatment of spot bitcoin products.”
According to the commissioner, the SEC’s “arbitrary and capricious treatment” will “continue to harm [its] reputation far beyond crypto.” Peirce argued that the “disproportionate” amount of resources diverted to these applications have diminished the efficiency of other SEC projects, and more importantly has created an “artificial frenzy” around spot bitcoin ETFs.
Indeed, the SEC has been accused of prejudice in delaying these approvals. Peirce pointed out that they were only made after judicial pressures, and that “rather than admitting error, [the SEC] offers a weak explanation for its change of heart.”
Coupled with a curious ‘hack’ which prematurely announced the approvals, along with yesterday’s announcement being deleted and then reuploaded, the SEC has certainly appeared highly disorganized.
Crypto enthusiasts were quick to jump on these blunders. Expected fanfare aside, X (formerly Twitter) reacted fiercely to the drama, uncertainty, and missteps made by the SEC along the way to this historic decision.
Crypto memes to spot bitcoin ETF approvals run free
In Gensler’s announcement, the chair was sure to say that “while we approved the listing and trading of certain spot bitcoin ETP shares today, we did not approve or endorse bitcoin.”
“Investors should remain cautious about the myriad risks associated with bitcoin and products whose value is tied to crypto.”
This clarification was labelled as ‘salty’ by some in the crypto community.
Others joked that Gensler was in for an uncomfortable conversation with Senator Elizabeth Warren, who has long warned of the dangers of cryptocurrency. Warren has called for stricter regulations rather than an approval of 11 spot bitcoin ETFs.
Following the news, several financial bigwigs also shared their enthusiasm. Asset management firm Franklin Templeton, which uses an image of Benjamin Franklin as its logo, updated its profile picture on X to old Ben with laser eyes. The firm’s Franklin Bitcoin ETF (EZBC) was among those approved.
Bitcoin’s price has spiked 3.6% following the decision, standing at $47,120 at press time. The historic news still appears nowhere on the SEC’s homepage.