CoinShares co-founder and CEO Jean-Marie Mognetti said lack of political will is holding back the development of a sound regulatory framework for digital assets in the U.S.
Commenting on the contrasting regulatory styles in the U.S. and Europe, Mognetti said a top-down approach from European political leaders makes the difference.
Citing France as an example, the CoinShares CEO pointed out that French President Emmanuel Macron “pushed forward a law in 2017,” which later culminated in forming the basis of the country’s regulatory approach to digital assets.
“You need the political will first. Everywhere you see in Europe, where you have a strong footprint in regulation, you have the political will.”
CoinShares CEO wants clarity
Mognetti said we saw the beginnings of a top-down approach in the U.S. in 2022. However, the matter is hampered by ongoing uncertainty over whether the SEC or CFTC will take charge of overseeing the crypto space.
“In the U.S., we saw last year the Presidential Office making decisions and pushing the narrative in that direction. If legislation starts moving toward that, then I think the agencies will be able to figure out who is in charge and who is not in charge.”
When asked what one question he would ask French Hill, who is tasked with leading the sub-committee on digital assets, Mognetti said he would like clarity on which agency can regulate crypto. That way, the industry can move forward, including pushing through a U.S. Bitcoin ETF product.
Mognetti acknowledged that dual oversight could be the outcome, but the industry still needs clarity on which agency will take the lead.
Spot Bitcoin ETF remains a sticking point
On Jan. 26, the SEC denied another spot Bitcoin ETF application, this time from Ark Invest, marking the company’s third rejection to date.
Ark is not alone in failing to secure spot Bitcoin ETF approval. The likes of VanEck, Bitwise and Grayscale, to name a few, have all failed to secure approval.
Following the rejection of the company’s application to convert the Grayscale GBTC fund into a spot BTC ETF in June 2022, Grayscale CEO Michael Sonnenshein said the company had no choice but to sue the regulator on the grounds of upholding its fiduciary responsibility to shareholders.
“It really is a signal that in the near term, investors have really seen that their regulator is pretty much shutting the door on the opportunity to take the world’s largest Bitcoin fund and bring it closer into the regulatory perimeter. So it left us no option other than to initiate a lawsuit.”
Mognetti said a spot Bitcoin ETF would be good for the industry, and CoinShares “would love to be able to offer that in the U.S.”
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