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Senator Elizabeth Warren Criticizes SEC Decision On Bitcoin ETFs

Senator Elizabeth Warren Criticizes SEC Decision On Bitcoin ETFs

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Senator Elizabeth Warren has criticized the SEC for its decision to approve the spot Bitcoin ETFs, stating that the commission was “wrong on the law” regarding the approval. 

The senator called for stringent anti-money laundering rules in response to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s decision. 

SEC Decision Incorrect 

Senator Warren took to X (formerly Twitter) to express her dissent regarding the decision and call for the enforcement of stringent anti-money laundering rules. Senator Warren stated, 

“The [Securities and Exchange Commission] is wrong on the law and wrong on the policy with respect to the Bitcoin ETF decision. If the SEC is going to let crypto burrow even deeper into our financial system, then it’s more urgent than ever that crypto follow basic anti-money laundering rules.”

The comments from the senator come a day after the Securities and Exchange Commission, in a landmark decision, voted to approve 11 new spot Bitcoin ETFs, much to the delight of the applicants and the larger crypto industry. Senator Warren’s precise complaints against the SEC’s decision remain unclear. However, in her statement, the senator has called for strict anti-money laundering rules whose scope would extend beyond exchange-traded funds. 

Warren’s Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act 

Senator Warren’s Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering was reintroduced in October and has gained the support of 19 senators, including two Republican senators. The bill has been roundly criticized by the crypto industry, with members stating it would stifle innovation in crypto and push crypto companies offshore. 

Several Securities and Exchange Commission members are sympathetic to Warren’s stance on crypto. While the SEC may have approved spot Bitcoin ETFs, SEC Chair Gary Gensler noted several instances of crypto abuse, such as money laundering, crime, and terrorism, in his approval statement and urged users to be cautious about the numerous risks around Bitcoin. Meanwhile, Dissenting SEC Commissioner Caroline A. Crenshaw was much harsher, stating that Bitcoin markets are fraught with fraud and manipulation and lack oversight. 

Social Media Backlash 

Warren’s criticism of the approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs was roundly criticized on social media. Many users suggested that a ruling concerning Grayscale’s ETF application set the ball rolling and ultimately led to the SEC approving spot Bitcoin ETFs. However, the outcome of the Grayscale case did not require the SEC to approve any funds. SEC Chair Gary Gensler acknowledged that the Grayscale case was one of the factors that made the approval of a spot Bitcoin ETF the most sustainable path forward. 

“The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia held that the Commission failed to adequately explain its reasoning in disapproving the listing and trading of Grayscale’s proposed ETP. Based on these circumstances and those discussed more fully in the approval order, I feel the most sustainable path forward is to approve the listing and trading of these spot bitcoin ETP shares.”

Rare Praise For SEC 

Meanwhile, several Republican lawmakers expressed rare praise for the Securities and Exchange Commission following the approval of the spot Bitcoin ETFs. House Financial Services Committee Chairman Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., and digital assets subcommittee head French Hill, R-Ark, issued a joint statement, stating, 

“While legislation to provide clarity and certainty for digital assets remains necessary, the steps taken today are a significant improvement over the SEC’s track record of regulation by enforcement. “We are pleased that investors and our markets will finally be afforded greater access to this generational technology.”

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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