Ex-SEC chair Jay Clayton says approval for a spot Bitcoin ETF is ‘inevitable’

Former SEC chair Jay Clayton suggested that U.S. securities regulators will likely approve a Bitcoin ETF during an interview with CNBC on Sept. 1.

Clayton nevertheless said he was not surprised that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had postponed decisions on various pending Bitcoin ETFs.

He went on to explain that “the job for the SEC is a challenging one.” Clayton explained that when cryptocurrency first emerged, the securities regulator had to handle offerings that were clearly not compliant with securities laws. But now, the SEC has to deal with broader crypto offerings, including some that have “clearly shown promise.”

Clayton declined to say whether he would approve a spot Bitcoin ETF if he remained in charge of the SEC but stated that Bitcoin is not a security.

Clayton also expressed optimism about upcoming ETF approvals in light of the fact that the SEC has previously approved Bitcoin futures ETFs. He said:

“… An approval is inevitable. The dichotomy between a futures product and cash product [ie. a spot Bitcoin ETF] can’t go on forever … I think that’s the path we’re on.”

He asserted that participation from large institutions and surveillance-sharing mechanisms exist for prospective spot Bitcoin ETFs. He said that, to his knowledge, this is the only objection that the SEC had toward spot Bitcoin ETFs in the past.

Clayton commented after other developments

Clayton made his statements just one day after the SEC delayed decisions on several proposed Bitcoin ETFs. The regulator will reach a decision on those ETFs and their associated proposed rule changes on various dates starting in mid-October. The SEC will either accept or reject the proposals at that time.

Many of Clayton’s statements were also a reaction to Anthony Pompliano, who was additionally interviewed by CNBC today. Pompliano argued that a spot Bitcoin ETF “will be approved” and will result in billions of inflows.

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