Gary Gensler: Ethereum ETFs likely approved by end of summer

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Spot Ethereum ETF supporters were handed a win during a Senate hearing, as SEC Chair Gary Gensler said applications were advancing. 

Speaking to a subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee, U.S Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chair Gary Gensler hinted towards a full regulatory approval for spot Ether (ETH) ETFs could come by the end of September. 

Gensler said at the budget hearing on June 13 that the final batch of filings, known as S-1s or registration of securities, has reached staff review. The commission already approved proposed rule changes to list spot ETH ETFs, also called 19b-4, last month.

Although the agency’s top official confirmed that Ethereum ETFs will likely start trading soon, Gensler’s vague stance on Ether’s asset status continued. The SEC chair refused to categorically say whether the largest decentralized finance native token is a commodity or a security. 

Gensler’s counterpart at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Rostin Behnam, has adopted an opposing view. “Yes,” answered Behnam when asked if Ether should be classified as a commodity. 

While experts noted that issuers filed spot ETH ETF bids in a non-security manner, it remains unclear how U.S. regulators and policymakers will officially approach the asset. 

However, the removal of all staking language from applications suggests that Ethereum’s proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus mechanism is likely under SEC scrutiny. 

The securities agency has launched multiple enforcement actions and sent Wells Notices to Ethereum adjacent providers like Consensys and Uniswap, further solidifying Gensler’s view on the matter. Still, considering political shifts in recent months, inquiries into Ether’s underlying technology may also be dead in the water. 

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