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Former SEC Chief Predicts No Approval for Spot Bitcoin ETF Under Current Administration

John Reed Stark, the former SEC Office of Internet Enforcement chief, opines that the current Securities and Exchange Commission will not approve a spot Bitcoin ETF, but the stance may change with a new administration.


SEC's Current Stance on Bitcoin ETF

John Reed Stark has publicly shared his view that the existing Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will not give the green light to a spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund. Stark highlighted a series of compelling reasons that prevent the SEC from approving a Bitcoin spot ETF in its current configuration.

Potential Shift in Policy with Republican Win

If a Republican candidate wins the presidential election in 2024, Stark believes that the SEC will likely scale back its crypto-enforcement efforts. He predicts that the agency would become more receptive to approving a Bitcoin spot ETF and take additional significant crypto-friendly regulatory measures.

Possible Leadership Change and Crypto-Friendly Moves

Stark further asserts that a Republican win could lead to significant changes in the SEC's leadership, with current chair Gary Gensler likely to resign. Hester Peirce, known in the industry as "Crypto Mom," could become acting chair, potentially halting crypto-related SEC disruptions.

SEC vs. Crypto: A Recent History

In recent history, the SEC has increased its crypto-enforcement efforts. This includes a settlement with crypto exchange Bittrex for $24 million, and the filing of a letter for an interlocutory appeal in the Ripple Labs case. These actions illustrate the SEC's current rigorous stance towards cryptocurrency.

The Ongoing Battle for a Bitcoin ETF

The quest for SEC approval of a spot Bitcoin ETF has been long and fruitless. To date, the agency has not approved any such funds, despite years of attempts, reinforcing Stark's belief that a change in political leadership might be the catalyst needed for such an endorsement.