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Commissioner Peirce Dissents from SEC’s Rejection of Bitcoin-Based ETF

On February 26, Commissioner Hester Peirce of the Securities and Exchange Commission filed a dissent to the SEC’s decision to reject a proposed rule change from NYSE Arca that would have allowed it to list shares of an exchange-traded fund backed by bitcoin and US Treasury bills. In her dissent, Commissioner Peirce argued that the SEC “applies a unique, heightened standard” to filings related to digital assets that departs from the plain language of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Based on past SEC decisions, Commissioner Peirce expressed a concern that the SEC “is unwilling to approve the listing of any product that would provide access to the market for bitcoin and that no filing will meet the ever-shifting standards that this Commission insists on applying to bitcoin-related products.”

The SEC order disapproving the proposed NYSE Arca rule change is available here. Commissioner Peirce’s dissent is available here.

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About this Author

Susan Light, Katten Law Firm, Finance Law Attorney, New York
Partner

Susan Light focuses her practice on financial services regulatory matters. She counsels broker-dealers, hedge funds, investment banks and financial services clients on enforcement issues involving the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), other self-regulatory organizations (SROs) and state and federal regulatory authorities. She has particular experience related to sales practice issues, financial and operational issues, anti-money laundering, crowdfunding, cybersecurity, and cryptocurrencies.

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212-940-8599
Michael T. Foley, Katten, Lawyer, Finance, FINRA, Chicago
Special Counsel

Michael Foley represents broker-dealers, investment advisers and other financial services industry participants with respect to a broad spectrum of legal and regulatory matters arising under the federal securities laws.

Michael has nearly 20 years of experience in private practice and in-house at both a large, full-service broker-dealer and at an online discount broker-dealer, advising broker-dealers and other financial institutions regarding compliance with the federal securities and commodities laws, and with the regulations of the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission and financial industry self-regulatory organizations. 

312-902-5452
Jack West Financial Attorney Katten
Associate

Jack West is an associate in the Financial Markets and Funds practice.

312-902-5463