Elad Roisman , the newly-appointed member of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), could be the missing the piece in tilting the balance in favor of a bitcoin ETF approval. The new commissioner becomes the third Trump appointee to the SEC, succeeding Michael Piwowar, who stepped down in July.
Roisman, who has a strong stance on fair regulation of cryptocurrency, spoke at a Senate Banking Committee hearing earlier this year, where he challenged the regulators to act in a "fair and transparent manner" and ensure they are working as intended in line with the agency's mission.
His statement said in part:
“The SEC must examine and re-examine its rules, regulations, and guidelines to ensure that they are still working as intended to accomplish the SEC’s mission. This is most recently manifested in areas such as data protection and cybersecurity as well as the emergence of new investments and technologies such as initial coin offerings and blockchain.”
Following the Senate's decision to approve Roisman's appointment to the SEC, the financial regulator now has two commissioners who are pro-bitcoin ETF. Roisman, who has worked for several years on the Senate Banking Committee, joins Commissioner Hester Peirce on the roster of commissioners who supports ETFs. Commissioner Peirce has long been an advocate for cryptocurrencies, tackling the SEC for operating as gatekeepers of innovation in the sector.
Peirce, another Trump administration appointee, published a formal dissent on the agency's website disagreeing with the rejection of the Winklevoss ETF in July 2018. In her dissent, she argued that officials erred in denying the fund and also exceeded the limited scope of the agency's role in regulating the securities market.
“The Commission’s mission historically has been, and should continue to be, to ensure that investors have the information they need to make intelligent investment decisions and that the rules of the exchange are designed to provide transparency and prevent manipulation as market participants interact with each other,” she remarked.
So far, the SEC has delegated past ETF decisions to the Division of Trading and Markets due to the increasing number of applications. The agency has rejected nine applications, ranging from the proposal from Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss and slapped down several others from ProShares, Direxion, and GraniteShares. The much anticipated physical bitcoin ETF, submitted by SolidX/VanEck, is due for a decision by early March 2019. While the Division will take center stage, it's clear the opinions of the commissioners will most certainly be a factor.
At press time, bitcoin is trading at $6,442, dropping $1,000 in value over the last 24 hours.
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