Despite SEC’s novel alignment on bitcoin ETF vote, it’s regulatory politics as usual

A recent SEC vote to approve a spot bitcoin ETF was both typical – in that the agency split, 3-2, on a controversial decision, and extraordinary – in that the three “yeas” consisted of SEC Chair Gary Gensler and the two Republican commissioners.

But rather than representing a tectonic shift in the politics of regulation, the alignment of the five-member SEC on the bitcoin decision signals that the stark divisions that have characterized major rulemaking under Gensler will continue as the Securities and Exchange Commission wrestles with explosive pending regulations. That effort will unfold, however, with the looming threat of lawsuits by opponents and court decisions like the one that drove the bitcoin ETF outcome.

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The bitcoin vote was different. For the first time in his nearly three-year tenure, Gensler sided with the two Republicans to approve 11 spot bitcoin ETFs. The alignment was startling but not a harbinger of Gensler’s shifting to the right in oversight.

“This vote is not going to usher in a new era of strange alliances on votes on rulemakings or other applications to list and trade products,” said Kurt Wolfe, counsel at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan.

Source: Despite SEC’s novel alignment on bitcoin ETF vote, it’s regulatory politics as usual