Grayscale boss: Why SEC should approve Bitcoin futures ETF, spot ETF together

Iranian enthusiasts see bitcoin as a hedge against devaluations of the rial and as a way to circumnavigate United States sanctions that have crippled Iran’s economy [File: Angel Garcia/Bloomberg]

The head of the largest crypto-holding hedge fund Grayscale, Michael Sonnenshein, has shared his view on the potential approval of Bitcoin ETFs by the SEC and explained why the regulator should really approve a spot Bitcoin ETF first, rather than a Bitcoin futures ETF.

Meanwhile, SEC chairman Gary Gensler has recently expressed a preference for letting a Bitcoin futures ETF into the market first, rather than a spot BTC exchange-traded fund. The host, Joe Kernen, has called that “putting a horse before the cart.”

The talk has also touched on the recent Bitcoin adoption by El Salvador.

Answering a question from Kernen, Sonnenshein stated that it would be short-sighted if the SEC allowed the release of a Bitcoin futures ETF before approving a Bitcoin spot ETF.

The SEC is here to think of investors and protect them. Spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds are more convenient to investors from the point of view of costs and certain protections, as Sonnenshein pointed out.

As reported in the media, earlier this year Grayscale and several other companies, including VanEck asset managing company and Invesco, filed for a Bitcoin futures ETF to be approved.

The Grayscale CEO reckons that the SEC chair has given preference to a Bitcoin futures ETF rather than a spot ETF due to certain issues they have had with Bitcoin in the past. However, Sonnenshein believes that both Bitcoin spot and futures ETFs should be allowed onto the market simultaneously.

Bitcoin podcaster C.J. Wilson has agreed with Sonnenshein, saying that spot-based Bitcoin ETFs make more sense since futures would push away many potential investors from U.S. pension funds (Roth Ira accounts) and other accumulation accounts that get into Bitcoin long-term based on the hype around BTC.

Michael Sonnenshein was also asked about the Bitcoin purchase worth $21 million made by the El Salvador government.

Earlier, the media covered that this small country that has adopted Bitcoin as legal tender has bought 400 Bitcoins. Today marks the first day of Bitcoin working as a legitimate means of exchange there.

This adoption carries a lot of momentum, Sonnenshein stated. He believes that when El Salvador’s citizens start using BTC for remittances, it may drive other countries to follow suit.

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