House members to Gensler: Say yes to spot ether ETFs

House members ask Gensler to keep a “consistent and equitable approach” with ether ETF proposals after the agency approved spot bitcoin ETFs in January


US Rep. Tom Emmer | Permissionless II by Blockworks


Five House members have urged the Securities and Exchange Commission to approve spot ether ETFs just hours before an expected decision. 

In a Wednesday letter, the lawmakers lauded the agency’s approval of spot bitcoin ETFs in January and noted that the SEC should “maintain a consistent and equitable approach” when considering crypto investment products. 

The letter was signed by US Reps. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.), French Hill (R-Ark.), Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), Wiley Nickel (D-N.C.) and Mike Flood (R-Neb.).   

“Specifically, the commission should apply the same principles set forth in the approval of the spot Bitcoin ETPs as it evaluates the pending Ether ETF applications as the legal considerations pertinent to Bitcoin also apply to Ether,” the group wrote

Thursday marks the SEC’s deadline to rule on a spot ether ETF proposal by fund firm VanEck. The agency is expected to also decide on similar planned funds by BlackRock, Fidelity, Grayscale and others at the same time.

Read more: Politics, amendments, staking: Making sense of the ether ETF developments 

While various industry watchers view recent engagement between the SEC, stock exchanges and fund issuers as bullish, there remain doubts about ether ETF approval.  

Gensler said in a Jan. 10 statement — the day the SEC approved the spot bitcoin funds — that the commission’s action was “cabined to ETPs holding one non-security commodity, bitcoin.” 

The SEC has historically been unclear about its stance on whether it deems ether a security or a commodity — a fact that could have implications on its ether ETF decision.

Read more: SEC has been investigating ETH for over a year, new court filing shows 

The House members said spot ether ETF approval would be “a natural progression” that demonstrates consistency and affirms the legal reasoning that led to its spot bitcoin ETF ruling.

“We encourage the commission to continue enabling and embracing financial innovation while ensuring the full protection of the federal securities laws for investors,” they added.

The letter came the same day that the House of Representatives passed the Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century Act — marking the second crypto-focused piece of legislation to advance in Congress this month.

Not all lawmakers support spot ether ETFs.

Sens. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and Laphonza Butler (D-Calif.) implored Gensler in a March letter to refrain from allowing more crypto ETFs to trade after the debut of spot bitcoin funds two months earlier.

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