What are the odds of a new Bitcoin ETF approval? Not good, according to Susquehanna’s Bart Smith

on Jun 27, 2022
  • The SEC will soon give a decision on the Bitwise and Grayscale Bitcoin ETF proposals.
  • The securities agency has yet to approve a spot Bitcoin ETF; it has approved three Futures-based ETFs.
  • Susquehanna's Bart Smith says SEC will likely deny both ETF applications at once.

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The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is unlikely to approve a spot Bitcoin exchange traded fund (ETF) anytime soon, says Bart Smith, the global head of digital asset strategy at Susquehanna International Group.

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According to him, the market has already priced in the odds of that happening, with both Bitwise and Grayscale’s GBTC trading at a discount. 

He told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” that an approval would boost the market and see the products’ “snap” into line.

However, he says what the market is saying right now is that the chances of the SEC approving all or one of the two are pretty zero. That has happened before.

The SEC is expected to give its decision on the Bitwise Bitcoin ETP Trust on Friday, while the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) ETF has a deadline 6 July, 2022. Smith says there’s speculation the SEC will deny both of them at the same time.

SEC’s concerns, yet Bitcoin Futures ETFs have been approved

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Over the years, the securities agency has delayed and then dismissed multiple spot Bitcoin ETF proposals, citing various factors like market manipulation and consumer protection.

But the agency has gone ahead to allow for Bitcoin Futures ETFs, which according to Smith, “settle on the same exchanges” the SEC says have not demonstrated the capacity to prevent potential manipulation.