Cathie Wood Says Gensler ‘Denigrated’ Crypto With His Statement

(Bloomberg) — Ark Investment Management LLC’s Cathie Wood said she was taken aback by Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler’s statement shortly after the agency approved around a dozen exchange-traded funds that will directly hold Bitcoin.

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“He just denigrated the whole crypto space. I couldn’t believe it,” Wood said in a Bloomberg Radio interview aired on X. “This is par for the course in disruptive innovation.”

Gensler, who has been open about his dislike for crypto, reiterated in a statement on Wednesday that the agency does not endorse digital assets. That came after a 3-2 vote by SEC commissioners in which he and two others opted to allow spot Bitcoin ETFs. The agency had been expected to permit the products after suffering a legal setback in a related case last year.

“While we approved the listing and trading of certain spot Bitcoin ETP shares today, we did not approve or endorse Bitcoin,” Gensler wrote. “Investors should remain cautious about the myriad risks associated with Bitcoin and products whose value is tied to crypto.”

“It’s the old DNA basically bashing the new DNA,” Wood added. “There are so many people who are curious out there.” An application by Ark in conjunction with 21Shares was among the spot Bitcoin ETFs given the green light by the SEC to begin trading Thursday.

The SEC’s move marked a pivot after taking a stance for more than a decade that opposed spot Bitcoin ETFs.

“This opens a new chapter for Bitcoin and I would like to believe we will be within the top three or two providers through this Bitcoin ETF,” Wood said.

Given the SEC’s “trepidation,” Wood added, institutions will need to “work through” the new framework with more diligence.

–With assistance from Isabelle Lee.

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