As bitcoin spot ETF hopes rise, SEC chair Gensler critiques lack of crypto investor protections

The success of recent bitcoin futures exchange-traded fund (ETF) launches haven't made Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chair Gary Gensler more comfortable with the underlying asset. 

In an interview with Yahoo Finance's Brian Cheung this morning, Gensler said the fact that crypto has yet to come under the "investor protection remit" leaves investors vulnerable to fraud and manipulation in these markets.


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"Without those protections, it's basically the wild west," said Gensler.

Gensler's comments came in response to whether he felt more comfortable with the possibility of a spot ETF in the wake of recent futures product approvals. His answer has some ETF experts bearish. President of the ETF Store Nate Geraci tweeted he was initially hoping for a July 2022 approval date for a spot product, but Gensler's comments have him reconsidering.

"But honestly, after hearing those Gensler comments, I just don't see how that happens," he tweeted. "How long will it take for Congress to develop a regulatory framework here? I'm now starting to think 2023 or beyond."

About Author

Aislinn Keely is a reporter on The Block's policy team holding down the legal beat. She covers court decisions, bankruptcies, regulatory actions and other key moments in the legal sphere, putting them in context for the wider crypto industry. Before The Block, she lent her voice to the NPR affiliate WFUV and helmed Fordham University's student newspaper. Send tips or thoughts on all things policy and legal to or follow her on Twitter for updates @AislinnKeely.