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SEC Chair Gary Gensler has slammed crypto industry players for not registering with the regulator, emphasizing the importance of mandatory disclosure for market participants. He expressed concern over participants in the crypto securities markets evading registration requirements, leading to a lack of transparency in the markets. The SEC has filed multiple lawsuits against crypto firms over the past year, with Gensler maintaining that most cryptocurrencies should be classified as securities. The agency is also exploring the potential classification of Ethereum as a security under its regulatory oversight, issuing subpoenas as part of the campaign.

In response to calls for clear regulatory guidelines from industry players and advocacy groups, the SEC has made progress in approving crypto-related exchange-traded products for U.S. exchanges. This includes investment vehicles tied to Ethereum and Bitcoin futures, as well as the first spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds approved in January. The SEC has postponed the decision on Grayscale’s Ethereum Futures Trust exchange-traded fund, extending the deadline from March 31 to May 30. Grayscale aims to invest in Ethereum futures contracts through the ETF, with the SEC delaying the decision to seek additional public input on the listing.

The extension of the deadline for Grayscale’s Ethereum Futures Trust ETF follows an earlier postponement in December 2023, during which public input was also sought. Grayscale had proposed listing and trading shares of its ETF under the New York Stock Exchange Arca Rule 8.200-E in September 2023. Bloomberg ETF analyst James Seyffart suggested that Grayscale’s move to apply for a futures ETF could be strategic in influencing the SEC’s decision on approving its spot Ether ETF. Approval of the futures ETF could potentially strengthen the argument for approving Grayscale’s spot Ether ETF application, which is also under consideration by the SEC.

Gary Gensler has emphasized the need for transparency and mandatory disclosure in the crypto markets, citing the benefits of ‘disinfectant’ measures to ensure market integrity. The SEC’s regulatory actions and lawsuits against crypto firms reflect its commitment to enforcing registration requirements and oversight in the evolving crypto industry. By postponing decisions on ETF approvals and seeking public input, the SEC is taking a cautious approach to assess the implications and potential impact of these investment products on the broader market. Grayscale’s strategic moves in seeking approval for crypto ETFs highlight the complex dynamics between industry players and regulators in navigating the evolving regulatory landscape for digital assets.

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