David W. Grim, Director of SEC’s Division of Investment Management, is to leave the agency next month, according to a press release.
The reasons for his departure are unclear, but it may be part of a shakeup at the SEC after the Trump administration came to power earlier this year.
Grim was the top official in charge of approving new ETFs, including the bitcoin ETF that was rejected at literally the last minute, which some took as an intentional insult towards this space.
He joined the agency directly from law school and rose to oversee “the $70 trillion dollar asset management industry, which includes mutual funds; exchange-traded funds; closed-end funds; variable insurance products; business development companies and investment advisers.”
Under his leadership, SEC took years to reject the ETF at the very last minute and then intervened in the ICO space not by opening a public consultation, but by laying down a judgment.
They have now restricted ICOs to accredited (very rich) investors only, leading us to ask whether they are ideologically against blockchain innovation as they have now created one rule for the rich and another for the rest.
That might change as Dalia Blass, whose firm advised the Winklevoss twins on their most recent bid for SEC approval, “is said to be in line to take over, according to a person familiar with the matter,” says Bloomberg.
SEC has re-opened the bitcoin ETF decision for re-consideration. It’s unclear how long such re-consideration will take but the Winklevoss twins have patiently worked through the process for more than three years, so seem determined to see it through.
There is already a bitcoin ETN in Sweeden, but a US traded ETF exchange would allow for easier access to bitcoin investing as a hedge or to increase diversification for stock and shares portfolios.
An Ethereum ETF by Joseph Quintilian and Gregory DiPrisco, who have founded EtherIndex to act as a trust for the ETF, is also awaiting SEC approval.
It is probable both will be approved or rejected together as the reasons for either decision are likely to be similar, but chances of a green-light this time appear to have increased.
The SEC is undertaking a review of regulations in line with Trump’s election promises which include a proposed rule to ““facilitate greater competition and innovation among ETFs.”
And, if it is indeed Blass that is appointed, a bitcoin and ethereum ETF approval seems more likely. Something that would truly bring both digital currencies to the mainstream market.