- Dennis Kelleher, CEO of nonprofit Better Markets, warned the SEC against approving a spot Bitcoin ETF, arguing it goes against the agency’s principles and risks harming investors.
- Kelleher was criticized by some who noted asset managers’ substantial efforts on ETF applications and his past negative remarks about crypto.
- Despite the warning, the SEC appears to be moving closer to approving spot Bitcoin ETFs, with amendments filed in early January, and approvals potentially coming before January 10.
In a letter to SEC Secretary Vanessa Countryman on January 5, Kelleher warned that approving a spot Bitcoin ETF would “almost certainly” lead to “massive investor harm.”
He argued that the proposed product would expose investors to fraud and phishing scams commonly associated with crypto. He said that approval would also enable the industry to claim crypto is now endorsed by the government, despite ongoing concerns.
Criticism of the Letter
However, some dismissed Kelleher’s letter. Bloomberg ETF analyst James Seyffart criticized it on social media, noting the substantial effort asset managers have put into their applications.
Fox Business journalist Eleanor Terrett also referenced Kelleher’s previous negative remarks about crypto, including calling it “a fraud on the public.”
The Road to ETF Approval
The letter comes as the SEC moves closer to approving spot Bitcoin ETFs. In early January, several issuers filed amendments, one of the final steps before potential approval.
Some speculate approvals could come before January 10, the deadline for an ARK Invest/21Shares offering. This would allow US exchanges to list shares with direct crypto exposure.
While Kelleher urges caution, the SEC appears to be progressing with ETF approvals. But it remains to be seen whether the agency heeds warnings about potential risks to investors. The coming days and weeks promise to be pivotal for Bitcoin ETF hopes.