Departures galore along with the orange 45th POTUS: SEC’s Enforcement Director Marc P. Berber joins his deputy Stephanie Avakian leaving the SEC; Former Coinbase general counsel Brian Brooks moves on from his short stint as the comptroller of currency at the OCC leaving his mark urging the government to get in the digital game & slipping in a conditional bank trust charter for Anchorage; Steve Mnuchin leaves the building making room for Janet Yellen (who will surely rain some serious helicopter money from the helm already calling for biden to “act big”) &; Gary Gensler looking to run the SEC. Gensler’s near two decade stint at Goldman Sachs may have been where he started his career but thereafter, he served in the public sphere in addition to a stint in academia teaching “Blockchain & Money.” The NYpost had some harsh words for the chairman but we can at least expect to be facing a regulator that understands the crypto industry. I am a fan.
Whether Yellen reverses her predecessor’s tight control over crypto ETFs remains to be seen, but the mere change of leadership has translated into high hopes for many an aspiring crypto-ETF manager, all whom have had the door shut in their faces under the iron fist of Jay Clayton. VanEck being one of the unfortunate managers has shifted gears, perhaps inspired by Mr. Saylor as they pivot from a crypto-backed ETF to one that invests in companies involved in crypto and while Arxnovum Investments tries its hand in Canada, the Europeans have taken the path of least resistance with several Grayscale-esque ETPs launching and why wouldn’t they? Grayscale is living proof that it is the vehicle, more than the economics of the product that open up the taps, evident by a record $3bn inflows in 4Q20 taking AUM past the $28bn milestone.
Grayscale AUM Jan 19th, 2021
If these Deleware corp registrations are anything to go by, expect to see a lot more variety.
The Swiss Stock Exchange a.k.a. SIX, is certainly not complaining. With ETC Group’s Bitcoin ETP punching in solid volume early days, the exchange reported $1.24bn in crypto volume traded for 2020 eclipsing the 2017 ATHs by more than twofold.