Senator Elizabeth Warren Criticizes SEC’s Approval of Bitcoin ETFs

While Warren has expressed her dissatisfaction with the approval of the 11 BTC ETFs, some lawmakers in the US support the SEC’s decision.

In a recent development, US Senator Elizabeth Warren, a key Democratic figure from Massachusetts and a Senate Banking Committee member, has strongly criticized the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for its recent approval of spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

On January 10, 2024, the SEC authorized 11 asset managers in the US to offer Bitcoin (BTC) spot ETFs for customers in the region. The move marked the first introduction of such investment products in the nation.

Now, Senator Warren is criticizing the financial regulator for approving the products despite the absence of a clear regulatory framework to oversee the industry.

Senator Warren Disapproves of SEC’s Decisions

The US senator voiced her concerns in a statement on X, emphasizing the importance of implementing the anti-money laundering rules to the crypto sector, given its increasing entanglement with traditional financial systems.

“The @SECgov 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,” said Senator Warren.

Warren’s disapproval of the SEC’s decision revolves around her belief that the agency is not adequately addressing the legal and policy implications of deeper crypto integration, particularly with BTC into the financial system.

The senator has actively championed the Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act, a legislative initiative seeking to extend Bank Secrecy Act requirements, including know-your-customer rules, to entities like miners, validators, and wallet providers.

The proposed law has garnered support from 19 other senators, including Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. The bill aims to introduce more oversight and regulation to the dynamic digital asset industry.

US Senators Support SEC’s Decision

While Warren has expressed her dissatisfaction with the approval of the 11 BTC ETFs, some lawmakers in the US are in support of the SEC’s decision, considering it a positive step toward improving access and management of crypto assets for Americans.

Senator Cynthia Lummis, a Republican from Wyoming, is among the lawmakers lauding the SEC’s approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs. She believes the move would facilitate easier access to crypto assets, allowing Americans to benefit from professional management and competitive fees.

Like Warren, Lummis, alongside another Democrat Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, is actively advocating for their bills, aiming to provide clearer regulations for the emerging economy.

Another senator, Patrick McHenry, a Republican from North Carolina and the House Financial Services Committee Chair, described the SEC’s latest actions as a significant improvement compared to their previous approach of regulation by enforcement.

He also acknowledged the importance of legislation to bring clarity and certainty to the digital asset space.

“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,” McHenry said.


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