Gabor Gurbacs, the Director of Digital Asset Strategy at VanEck, spoke about the SEC’s and CFTC’s role with the VanEck ETF, during a podcast episode on WhatBitcoinDid. He also spoke about why the commission should approve of the proposed rule change.
Recently, the US Securities and Exchange Commission released a statement regarding the VanEck ETF, which enunciates the postponement of the approval or disapproval of the proposed rule change. The notice also reinforces that the decision would be made next year, February 27, 2019. However, the statement did not come as a surprise to VanEck as they were expecting the commission to close on this decision and are expecting it to be finalized by the beginning of March 2019.
Gurbacs started by speaking about the role of the SEC and the CFTC with Bitcoin ETF. He stated that Bitcoin [BTC] is completely under the regulation of the Commodity Future Trading Commission [CFTC] ever since it was deemed as a commodity in 2015. However, an exchange traded fund [ETF] is a security by definition and that comes under the jurisdiction of the SEC. The Director further added that there are securities which are based on commodities such as the gold ETF and the oil ETF. He said:
“So there, the transactional part is kind of supervised by the CFTC and the trading of the security itself like an exchange-traded fund is supervised by the SEC.”
According to Gurbacs, CFTC has been more lenient and pro-innovation in the U.S. He added that the commodities commission is “trying to figure out” how to deal with new asset classes. The director went on to say that it would be good for everyone if Bitcoin ETF is approved. This is mainly because all the trading is currently taking place in a grey area, which is not under the jurisdiction of the SEC or is not regulated by the commission. He added that if the commission rejects the ETF, then they will eventually fail at protecting their investors as the trading will continue to take place in the grey areas.
The Director went on to say:
“So, the ETF is like the one tool to bring trading into a more regulated space and better protect investors. And there’s again, there’s a ton of work that we have done on the pricing end, like years of work, on what’s the right price for Bitcoin and they’re in a fragmented system and that is representative liquidity and then we’ve done some work on surveillance.”