Bitcoin ETF approval nearing, but brace for more setbacks: BitGo CEO

Mike Belshe, CEO of cryptocurrency exchange BitGo, has suggested that all indications are leaning towards a favorable outcome for a spot Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF). However, he emphasized that the journey ahead won’t be without challenges.

In an interview with Bloomberg on November 16, Belshe explained that based on the discussions taking place between firms seeking Bitcoin ETF approval and the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), he holds an optimistic view that approval is imminent.

However, he pointed out that improving the market structure is a must before the SEC grants ultimate approval for a Bitcoin ETF:

“I think it is quite likely we have another round of ETF rejections before we get the positive news.”

Belshe reiterated the SEC’s stance on separating crypto exchanges from custodians, emphasizing that this condition must be addressed before approvals are granted. 

Furthermore, he referenced Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO of the now-defunct crypto exchange FTX, claiming that he was trying to make FTX a multifaceted operation:

“15 months ago we had Sam Bankman-Fried marching all over Washington D.C. advocating his seven key points of regulations. He basically said, let me take on all these functions, it is going to be great, it is going to be efficient.” 

Related: WisdomTree amends S-1 form spot Bitcoin ETF filing as crypto awaits SEC decisions

This follows reports indicating that the excitement surrounding the potential approval of a spot Bitcoin ETF led to a significant surge in fees on the Bitcoin blockchain in recent times. 

On November 16, the fees paid on the Bitcoin blockchain soared to $11.6 million, marking a 746% increase in the average transaction fee compared to a year ago.

According to Cointelegraph’s market analysis, Bitcoin is holding steady near 18-month highs, surpassing its bear market trading range.

There are currently 12 asset management firms waiting to hear outcomes for Bitcoin ETF applications. According to Bloomberg analyst James Seyffart, there’s a 90% chance of approvals by January 10, 2024.

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