Bitcoin climbed to more than $58,800, the highest since May. The largest cryptocurrency by market value reached a record high of $64,869 in April.
The SEC has in the past argued that the crypto space is plagued with investor hazards. The SEC had expressed concern that prices could be manipulated and liquidity might be insufficient, and that Bitcoin’s drastic price swings may be too much for individual investors.
Bitcoin’s last three full-year returns were a 74% loss followed by gains of 95% and 305%. Additionally, the SEC has questioned whether funds would have the information necessary to adequately value cryptocurrencies or related products. There have also been questions about validating ownership of the coins held by funds and the threat from hackers.
Many crypto advocates were heartened when Gensler took the helm at the agency. They cited his previous interest in the crypto world — he once taught a class at MIT’s Sloan School of Management called “Blockchain and Money.”
But the chairman has also in recent months referred to the space as the “Wild West” and has signaled that he wants more robust oversight of the markets.
The mood appeared to shift in August, when Gensler signaled he’d favor funds based on CME-traded Bitcoin futures filed under a 1940s law. He reiterated that stance late last month.
That’s led to a wave of futures-backed filings and unbridled optimism among issuers that approval could be imminent. The speculation has fueled a torrential rebound in the price of Bitcoin, which surged to its highest level since May this week. The world’s largest cryptocurrency has essentially doubled since breaking below $30,000 in late July.
Four futures-backed Bitcoin ETFs could begin trading on U.S. exchanges this month, with deadlines for applications from VanEck and Valkyrie also approaching. Meanwhile, dozens of cryptocurrency exchange-traded products have launched in Canada and across Europe. Valkyrie declined to comment.