Consensys Says SEC’s Spot ETH ETF Concerns are Unfounded

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Consensys, a prominent firm in the blockchain and Web3 software development arena, has addressed concerns raised by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regarding potential fraud and manipulation risks associated with Ethereum’s proof-of-stake (PoS) system, particularly in relation to spot Ether exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

In a comment letter submitted to the SEC, Consensys categorically refuted these concerns, stating that fears of fraud and manipulation are unfounded. 

Joe Lubin, the chief executive of the blockchain firm, recently addressed the firm’s job cuts as well, stating that the actions were taken “mostly because of potential headwinds and potential uncertainty.”

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Consensys on ETH vs BTC

In a recent blog post, Consensys highlighted Ethereum’s PoS implementation, emphasizing its robust security measures, which, in their view, not only meet but surpass those of Bitcoin’s proof-of-work (PoW) system. 

This assertion is particularly significant as Bitcoin-based ETFs have already received approval for trading by the SEC.

Consensys Highlights Advantages of ETH Over BTC

The blockchain infrastructure firm underscored Ethereum’s advantages over Bitcoin, citing quicker block finality, a division of responsibilities among stakeholders to deter dominance, higher attack costs, penalties for rule violations, and superior environmental sustainability.

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Additionally, Consensys pointed out Ethereum’s larger developer community and its transparent, public blockchain as further strengths that enhance its security and reliability.

Fate of ETH ETFs Remains Uncertain

Despite the popularity of spot Bitcoin ETFs, the fate of spot Ether ETFs remains uncertain, with a final SEC decision slated for May 23. 

Notably, VanEck’s application marks the beginning of this decision-making process. While optimism surrounding approval was prevalent in 2023, there’s now speculation that the SEC could potentially deny applications in 2024.

Several firms, including Fidelity, Hashdex, and ARK 21Shares, await SEC approval or denial for their spot ETH ETF applications. Notably, the SEC began approving investment vehicles tied to Ether futures in October 2023, further signaling the growing interest in Ethereum-based financial products.

Spot ETH ETFs

Interestingly, the anticipation surrounding spot Ether ETFs has sparked activity in the prediction market, with bets on approval reaching at least $12 million. This mirrors the excitement and speculation that surrounded the approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs by the SEC earlier this year.

Despite uncertainties, investment management company Grayscale remains optimistic about a favorable decision from the SEC to spot Ether ETFs by May. Their confidence is echoed by Craig Salm, Grayscale’s chief legal officer, who believes that the SEC’s perceived lack of engagement with applicants does not necessarily indicate an impending denial.

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