Gemini Co-Founder Says SEC’s Adamancy to Approve Bitcoin Spot ETF Is a Disaster, Here’s Why

gemini introduces gemini earn 1.jpg
gemini introduces gemini earn 1.jpg

Gemini co-founder Cameron Winklevoss has called out the US Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) for pushing investors into toxic products

In his July 2 tweet, Winklevoss said the SEC’s refusal to approve spot Bitcoin-based ETF products is a complete and utter disaster for US investors.

He added that it demonstrates the SEC’s failure as a regulator. It bears mentioning that July 2 marked ten years since the Winklevoss twins, founders of crypto exchange Gemini, filed for a spot Bitcoin ETF approval with the SEC.

The SEC Pushed Investors Into Toxic and Unregulated Products, Winklevoss Says

The SEC remains adamant on its decision to deny every spot BTC ETF application submitted by various firms. 

The regulator had cited market manipulation as its reason for denying the applications, saying the firms must include surveillance-sharing agreements with a regulated market of considerable size.

Since the Winklevoss twins’ ETF application, the SEC has rejected dozens of other firms’ filings. The Gemini co-founder noted that the commission’s action pushed investors into investing in “toxic” and “unregulated” products.

Cameron Winklevoss argued investors went for toxic alternatives like the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), which trades at a high discount to net asset value (NAV) and charges high fees. 

For context, GBTC is an investment vehicle managed by the Digital Currency Group’s asset management subsidiary, Grayscale Investments. GBTC offers investors leveraged exposure to Bitcoin.

GBTC’s NAV discount is currently 30% higher than Bitcoin’s price, according to YCharts data. Grayscale charges an annual fee of 2%, which is on the high side compared to the regular average of 0.40%, according to Morningstar’s July 2022 study.

Furthermore, Winklevoss said the SEC’s refusal to approve a spot BTC ETF led US investors to move to unlicensed and unregulated platforms, like FTX. He referred to FTX as one of the largest financial frauds in modern history. 

He recommended that the SEC “reflect on its dismal record instead of overstepping its statutory power and trying to act like a gatekeeper of economic life.”

Winklevoss urged the SEC to focus on protecting investors, fostering fair and orderly markets, and facilitating capital formation, which could yield better outcomes for US investors.

SEC Says Spot BTC ETF Filings Are Not Sufficiently Clear and Comprehensive

The Winklevoss remark follows a growing list of companies fighting for the SEC’s blessing to launch a spot Bitcoin ETF. Among these firms are BlackRock, Fidelity, WisdomTree, Valkyrie, Invesco, Grayscale, and ARK Invest.

Last week ARK Invested amended its ETF filing and added a surveillance-sharing agreement with CBOE, a leading US-based security and derivative market. 

The SEC reportedly said the recent spot ETF filings by BlackRock, Fidelity, ARK, and other asset managers are “not sufficiently clear and comprehensive.”

The commission asked the asset managers to clary the filing language and resubmit their applications. Meanwhile, Grayscale has gone to court to contest the SEC’s decision to deny its application to convert the GBTC to a spot Bitcoin ETF. 

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