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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is making significant strides in the process of launching the first spot Ether exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in the United States. According to SEC Chair Gary Gensler, the procedure is advancing well, although he refrained from specifying a launch date.

Speaking at a Bloomberg conference on June 25, Gensler emphasized the importance of full disclosure from asset managers. “It’s really about the asset managers making the full disclosure so that those registration statements can go effective,” Gensler stated. He further explained that these disclosures are crucial for investor decision-making. The SEC had approved 19b-4 filings from eight ETF bidders on May 23, but asset managers are still refining their Form S-1s, the final documents the SEC needs to approve before the ETFs can commence trading.

Potential Approval Imminent

Despite Gensler’s reticence on the exact timeline, some analysts predict that the SEC could approve these funds for trading as early as the first week of July. This potential approval has generated significant anticipation within the crypto community, which has been eagerly awaiting the introduction of Ether ETFs.

Gensler on Regulatory Consistency

The broader U.S. crypto industry has faced numerous enforcement actions from the Gensler-led SEC, prompting significant lobbying efforts to make digital assets a key election issue. However, Gensler remains steadfast in his stance on regulatory consistency. “We have a set of rules that are pretty clear. There’s nothing inconsistent about crypto securities and the securities laws,” he asserted. Gensler highlighted that many in the industry are non-compliant with existing laws, stressing the importance of proper disclosure to protect American investors.

Political and Industry Reactions

The regulatory environment has elicited strong reactions from political figures and industry leaders. Presidential hopeful Donald Trump has vowed to end what he terms President Joe Biden’s “war on crypto,” while billionaire investor Mark Cuban has suggested that Gensler’s actions could significantly impact Biden’s re-election prospects. Gensler, however, refrained from commenting on these political statements, focusing instead on the SEC’s regulatory mandate.

On social media platform X, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse criticized Gensler’s approach, calling his comments “absolute nonsense” and accusing him of overlooking major issues like the FTX collapse. Garlinghouse went so far as to claim that Gensler’s actions could cause Biden to lose the upcoming election.

As the SEC moves closer to potentially approving the first spot Ether ETFs in the U.S., the regulatory landscape remains fraught with tension between compliance and innovation. The outcome of this process will be closely watched by investors and policymakers alike, as it promises to shape the future of cryptocurrency regulation in the United States.

Sofía is a tech news reporter based in Austin, Texas. Sofía graduated in Journalism from Mexico City University and is passionate about leveraging technology for a better world. She focuses on reporting its advancements in a responsible and ethical manner.