Even as a U.S. Bitcoin ETF waits in the wings, VanEck Associates has upped the ante with a push for an Ether ETF.
If approved, the VanEck Ethereum Trust would hold Ether and value its shares daily based off the MVIS CryptoCompare Ethereum benchmark rate, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
The application comes after the SEC delayed its first decision on whether or not to approve VanEck’s Bitcoin ETF to June 13, and as growing pressure mounts on the U.S. to approve at least one cryptocurrency ETF, as neighbor Canada has already approved no less than two Bitcoin ETFs as well as three Ether ETFs.
U.S. regulators have yet to approve a single cryptocurrency ETF, but the field is already crowded with companies looking to launch one – no less than 11 companies are already vying to be the first to launch a cryptocurrency ETF.
But in growing signs that the U.S. crypto-faithful will get what they want, newly appointed U.S. SEC Chairman Gary Gensler, himself no stranger to cryptocurrencies, has expressed that U.S. investors lack protections when they trade Bitcoin on cryptocurrency exchanges.
At a hearing before the House Financial Services Committee last Thursday, Gensler, who was previously teaching blockchain technology at the MIT Sloan School of Management, told members of Congress that while his agency has the authority to regulate cryptocurrencies that are considered securities, trading in Bitcoin represents an oversight gap.
Part of the problem is that lawmakers have struggled to find a neat classification for cryptocurrencies, making issues of jurisdiction contentious.
Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ether are often more closely associated with being “non securities,” whereas asset-backed tokens tend to fall more closely within the ambit of the SEC’s jurisdiction.
The SEC has signaled that Bitcoin is a commodity under U.S. law and therefore not subject the agency’s toughest rules and according to Gensler,
“There’s a lot of authority that the SEC currently has in the securities space and there are a number of cryptocurrencies that fall within that jurisdiction.”
“But there are some areas, particularly Bitcoin trading on large exchanges, that the public is not currently really protected.”
That could change of course with an SEC-approved Bitcoin ETF and may possibly be what Gensler is hinting at.