William Cai, co-founder of investment firm Wilshire Phoenix, is the latest person to cast doubts on the possibility of a Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF) approval in the United States in 2021.
Speaking to Business Insider, Cai remarked that a Bitcoin ETF in 2021 is unlikely as he offered 2022 and 2023 as the earliest possible times for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to greenlight a BTC ETF.
Several Bitcoin ETF hopefuls currently have filings with the SEC, including fund management outfit Global X, which submitted earlier in July.
The SEC has thus far elected to delay its decision on the pending ETF submission, and Cai expects the commission to deny these applications, stating, “We think they are all going to get stuck.”
Cai has some experience with the SEC’s handling of Bitcoin ETF applications. The commission rejected Wilshire Phoenix’s Bitcoin ETF filing in February 2020, much to the company’s disappointment.
According to Cai, despite the changing of the guard at the SEC’s leadership with Gary Gensler as the new chairman, the commission’s stance on Bitcoin ETFs remains the same. “I’ve seen nothing that suggests there’s been a switch in their thinking,” Cai added.
As part of the interview, the Wilshire Phoenix co-founder stated that price manipulation remains a major concern for the SEC.
Cai is not the only person to cast doubts on a Bitcoin ETF happening in 2021. In June, Greg King, CEO of Bitcoin trust issuer Osprey Funds, marked 2022 as the earliest estimate for an SEC-approved BTC ETF.
At the time, King stated that Bitcoin ETFs were not high on the list of priorities for the SEC. Cai also offered the same argument, telling Insider that the commission was focused on regulating meme stock, environmental, social and governance compliance, and the Robinhood initial public offering.