Bitcoin ETF applicants may have to wait a bit.
The first exchange-traded fund based on the flagship cryptocurrency may not gain approval for the next two years, despite many deemed a favorable changing of the guard at the Securities and Exchange Commission, Osprey Funds founder and CEO Greg King told CNBC on Monday.
New SEC chairman Gary Gensler may have taught cryptocurrency at MIT, but that doesn’t mean the bitcoin-based fund will get approval immediately, King told CNBC’s ETF Edge.
“People seem to read [like] this means the bitcoin ETF turns green. We’re not sure if that’s the case, ”said King, who plans to convert Osprey’s Bitcoin Trust (OBTC) to ETF when the time is right.
“Personally, I think if something happens, it is more likely in 2022. It really starts. These things take time, ”King said.
The fact remains that the SEC’s core concerns about bitcoin – the potential for fraud, manipulation and storage problems – have not gone away, Grayscale Investments CEO Michael Sonnenshine told ETF Edge in the same interview.
“The industry continues to evolve every day, but it’s clear that even as we’re growing up, we’re not quite there yet,” said Sonnenstein, whose firm has been working with the SEC to resolve its problems since 2016.
With the regulators so involved, the Bitcoin ETF is only a matter of time, Sonnenshine said.
He added that he is “100% committed” to transforming his firm’s popular Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) into an ETF “when the regulatory environment is ready for it.”
“The institutions that are now investing with us would not have thought about it two or three years ago, when regulatory uncertainty could have been an obstacle for them. This is currently not the kind of rebuff we are getting, ”Sonnenshine said. “And so I think over time you will see maturation … which will give regulators more confidence in this asset class.”
Disclosure: King and Osprey Funds own bitcoin. Grayscale Investments owns bitcoin.