The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s former Chairman Arthur Levitt doesn’t think the regulator is equipped to handle bitcoin, the cryptocurrency that has been surging in value all year.
According to a news report in Reuters, Levitt made the comments at the Economist’s Finance Disrupted conference in New York. “I think the tendency of the Commission has been to stay away from bitcoin,” the former SEC chairman was quoted as saying. “They have too many other issues that they are dealing with now that they don’t want to take on something as complex from a regulatory point of view as bitcoin is.”
The comments on the part of the former SEC head come just a day after Grayscale Investments said Intercontinental Exchange Inc.’s NYSE Arca exchange pulled out a request to list a Bitcoin Investment Trust with the regulator, saying the SEC had previously rejected two bids for an exchange listing of cryptocurrency investment products.
“Although digital currency market regulation continues to rapidly evolve, at this time Grayscale does not believe there have been enough regulatory developments to prompt the SEC to approve the … application,” Grayscale said in a statement, reported Reuters. The Bitcoin Investment Trust is trading over the counter, which doesn’t face the same regulations, noted the report.
The Bitcoin Investment Trust isn’t the only one pulling its registration documents with the SEC for a bitcoin fund. A separate Reuters report noted that Van Eck Associates Corp pulled its registration application for a bitcoin fund after the SEC said they wouldn’t review the filing until after futures contracts on bitcoin start trading.
The bitcoin moves come around the same time that JPMorgan Chief Executive Jamie Dimon has called cryptocurrency a fraud and said he would fire any trader within the firm that traded it. The executive predicted that eventually, the bitcoin market will implode. It is currently trading at $4,100, quadrupling in value since December. “It could be at $20,000 before this happens, but it will eventually blow up,” Dimon said earlier in September, according to Reuters.