Before approving the spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) on January 10, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) received recommendations from the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) about three critical execution plans.
The proposals centered on how the regulator would handle the emerging business in the upcoming years and labor management for the digital asset market.
The SEC received the GAO recommendations on December 15 and the public was informed on January 16. The SEC should create a new personnel plan, record rules and procedures for internal controls at its Strategic Hub for Innovation and Financial Technology (FinHub), and create performance benchmarks and metrics for the hub, according to the GAO study.
Within the legislative branch of the US federal government, the GAO is an impartial, independent auditing organization that provides auditing, evaluation, and investigative services to Congress.
The SEC employs 116 people who focus primarily on issues connected to crypto assets, according to the GAO’s assessment of the agency’s capacity to handle the burgeoning crypto industry. To refresh its approach for the fiscal years 2019–2022, the SEC hasn’t yet created a new personnel planning strategy.
As per the GAO’s recommendation, the SEC would be in a better position to fulfill its future labor requirements and execute its policymaking and supervisory responsibilities concerning digital assets.
The SEC’s FinHub assists in coordinating SEC oversight of developing technologies, however the GAO discovered that it lacks formal policies, procedures, or performance targets. While FinHub has operating processes in place, such as interacting with market participants, it has not implemented rules and procedures to support internal controls.
After the evaluation, the GAO issued the following three recommendations:
- A new workforce planning strategy that is in line with the agency’s 2022–2026 strategic and performance goals should be prepared by the top human capital officer, under the supervision of the SEC chief.
- The head of the SEC should make sure the director of FinHub records the guidelines and practices that underpin the company’s internal controls.
- The SEC chair should make sure the FinHub director creates quantifiable, focused, and objective performance goals and metrics.
In order to show whether the SEC has acted appropriately in response to the recommendations, the GAO has also included a live status section for each recommendation.
On January 10, the SEC issued a landmark ruling, approving 11 spot Bitcoin ETF applications. According to the SEC’s internal document, there were two votes against the motion and three in favor. After almost ten years of denials, SEC director Gary Gensler made the deciding vote to authorize the first spot BTC ETFs in the United States.
SEC chairman was put in a difficult situation about immediate approval of a Bitcoin ETF, according to gold bug and well-known Bitcoin opponent Peter Schiff. He cautioned that Gensler would “soon introduce new onerous crypto regulations that will substantially increase the cost of Bitcoin transactions, further undermining its ‘use’ case, resulting in a sharp decline in price.”
Since @GaryGensler was backed into a corner on spot #BitcoinETFs approval, I think he will soon introduce new onerous #crypto regulations that will substantially increase the cost of #Bitcoin transactions, further undermining its “use” case, resulting in a sharp decline in price.
— Peter Schiff (@PeterSchiff) January 17, 2024
The following day, all authorized spot BTC ETFs went live and had trading volumes of more than $2 billion on opening day.