The Commissioner of the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), Brian Quintenz has opposed the grounds set by the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) to not approve a Bitcoin exchange traded fund. This oppositional statement was made on the 12th of February by Quintenz at a panel for the BiPartisan Policy Center in Washington D.C.
His argument stated that the ability to potentially manipulate prices shouldn’t be considered a hindrance to a Bitcoin ETF’s approval. Another member of this panel was SEC Commissioner Heister Peirce who has become famous for her criticism of the SEC’s decisions to reject the proposal of a BTC ETF by the Winklevoss brothers.
During the panel, Quintenz stated that the CFTC and SEC had similar views regarding the matter as the CFTC’s “jurisdiction over … [Bitcoin futures] contracts requires that they not be readily susceptible to manipulation.”
He further said that, “There are mathematical ways through a settlement index to design a contract where even if there isn’t a lot of liquidity on one exchange referenced, the index itself is not readily susceptible to manipulation.”
Quintenz then quoted a BTC futures contract as an example of a successfully CFTC approved ventures in the market as it is designed to work on “multiple volume weighted average prices in five minute increments over the course of an hour across multiple exchanges.”
Whereas, Peirce made a statement regarding her own agency’s take on the assessment of crypto products, “At the SEC we have been unwilling to sign off on a Bitcoin ETF thus far. My concern is that it looks a bit like a merit based approach, judging the underlying Bitcoin market and saying we don’t think these are regulated enough. You know, there’s lots of markets that aren’t regulated, but we nevertheless build products on top of them.”