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SEC Approves Historic 11 Spot Bitcoin ETFs, Signals New Era for Crypto Investment

The United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently offered crucial recommendations to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in anticipation of its approval of a spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) on January 10.

These recommendations primarily revolved around workforce management for the digital asset market and the regulatory approach towards the burgeoning industry in the upcoming years.

The GAO presented these recommendations to the SEC on December 15, and they were made public on January 16.

The GAO’s report advised the SEC to develop a new workforce plan, establish clear policies and procedures for its Strategic Hub for Innovation and Financial Technology (FinHub) internal controls, and formulate performance objectives for the hub.

The GAO, known for its independent and nonpartisan role within the U.S. federal government’s legislative branch, provides auditing, evaluation, and investigative services for the U.S. Congress.

Upon assessing the SEC’s readiness to handle the growing crypto market, the GAO identified that the agency currently employs 116 individuals primarily focused on crypto asset matters.

However, the SEC has yet to create an updated workforce planning strategy, despite the need to align with its fiscal years 2019–2022 strategy.

The GAO suggested that such a strategy would better equip the SEC to address future workforce requirements and effectively fulfill its responsibilities in overseeing and formulating policies related to crypto assets.

READ MORE: Rosario Witnesses Historic First as Tenant Pays Monthly Rent in Bitcoin

Additionally, the GAO observed that while the SEC’s FinHub coordinates oversight of emerging technology, it lacks documented policies, procedures, and performance goals, even though it has established operational processes like meetings with market participants.

In response to their assessment, the GAO issued three recommendations:

  1. The SEC’s chief should ensure that the chief human capital officer devises a new workforce planning strategy in line with the agency’s 2022–2026 strategic and performance plans.
  2. The SEC’s chief should ensure that the FinHub director documents policies and procedures that underpin its internal controls.
  3. The chair of the SEC should ensure that the FinHub director establishes performance goals and metrics that are clear, quantifiable, and targeted.

For each of these recommendations, the GAO included a live status section to monitor whether the SEC takes appropriate actions on them.

In a landmark decision, the SEC granted approval for 11 spot Bitcoin ETF applications on January 10. The internal document shared by the SEC revealed that the proposal received three votes in favor and two against. SEC chief Gary Gensler’s decisive vote marked the approval of the first spot BTC ETFs in the U.S., ending nearly a decade of rejections.

Notably, gold enthusiast and prominent Bitcoin critic Peter Schiff suggested that Gensler was pressured into approving the spot Bitcoin ETFs.

However, Schiff cautioned that Gensler might introduce stringent crypto regulations in the near future, potentially increasing the cost of Bitcoin transactions and undermining its utility, which could lead to a significant price drop.

All the approved spot BTC ETFs commenced public trading the following day, quickly amassing over $2 billion in trading volume on their debut.

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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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