Regulatory Uncertainty Delays Ether ETF Decisions: Insights from the U.S. and South Africa

Regulatory Uncertainty Delays Ether ETF Decisions: Insights from the U.S. and South Africa

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is poised to make a critical decision regarding the approval of ether exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in the coming week.

However, Ric Edelman, head of the Digital Assets Council of Financial Professionals, predicts that the decision will likely be postponed due to the absence of a comprehensive regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies.

“I foresee another delay, which isn’t necessarily bad news,” Edelman stated during an interview on CNBC’s “ETF Edge” this week.

Edelman, an investor and personal finance author, emphasizes the need for regulations to safeguard individuals from crypto scams. He points out that existing laws, being over fifty years old, are outdated and not designed for digital technology.

“Without any regulatory oversight, investors are forced to navigate the market independently, often outside the investment advisory community, because advisors are uncertain about the rules. Consequently, investors fall victim to scams and frauds,” he explained. “The unfortunate irony is that SEC Chair Gary Gensler, who claims to want to protect consumers, is actually harming them by not establishing clear regulations.”

Matt Hougan from Bitwise Asset Management is also advocating for new regulations.

“Eighty-year-old securities laws are not suitable for the world of digital assets, crypto, and 21st-century technology,” said Hougan, the firm’s chief investment officer. “Ultimately, everyone desires the same outcome: a secure platform where both investors and innovation are protected.”

Hougan notes that Bitwise has submitted its own application for a spot ethereum ETF and remains optimistic about the future.

“We’ve entered the ETF era for crypto. The introduction of bitcoin ETFs has benefited investors by reducing costs, enhancing regulation, and improving safety, security, and peace of mind. I believe we will achieve the same for ethereum,” Hougan stated.

Two ether ETF proposals, submitted by VanEck and ARK Investments/21Shares, are scheduled for approval or denial this month.

Parallel with the South African Crypto Market

Similarly, the South African crypto market faces challenges due to the lack of a robust regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies. Just as in the U.S., the absence of clear regulations in South Africa forces investors to navigate the market on their own, increasing the risk of falling victim to scams and fraud.

Local financial experts stress the need for modern regulations tailored to digital assets. The current regulatory landscape, designed for traditional financial instruments, is inadequate for the fast-evolving world of cryptocurrencies. This regulatory gap leaves investors vulnerable and hinders the growth of a secure and innovative crypto market.

As in the U.S., there is a call in South Africa for regulatory bodies to establish clear guidelines to protect consumers and foster a safe investment environment. By doing so, both regions can ensure that the benefits of cryptocurrencies, such as lower transaction costs and increased financial inclusion, are realized while minimizing risks.



Originally from Dakar, Senegal, Isabelle is a business writer with a flair for storytelling. She covers cryptocurrency markets, focusing on startups and new technologies in the blockchain space. Isabelle has an MBA and blends her business acumen with a passion for crypto.