Elad Roisman will take over as Chairman of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission effective immediately, according to Commissioner Hester Peirce.
Peirce broke the news on Twitter Thursday morning, where she congratulated Roisman for his appointment.
Congratulations, Chairman Roisman! I look forward to your leadership of the SEC.— Hester Peirce (@HesterPeirce) December 24, 2020
Both Republican commissioners, Peirce and Roisman were the leading candidates to replace Jay Clayton as Chair.
Clayton resigned from his position on Wednesday in a statement posted on the SEC’s website. The move was widely expected as Clayton had previously indicated his desire to leave the agency by the end of the year.
Regarding the potential for a Bitcoin ETF, which has not been forthcoming under Clayton's leadership, CrossTower co-founder and President Kristin Boggiano suggested that "As an acting, interim chair, Roisman will likely serve until President-elect Joe Biden designates his own acting chairman of the SEC. Given how controversial an ETF has been over the past few years, it's unlikely that Roisman will quickly usher an ETF through. However, as there is clear widespread adoption of BTC, the chance of the SEC approving an ETF is higher. My guess is that BTC will gain clear status as an asset class in 2021 and that the SEC will be more inclined to approve an ETF."
Roisman was appointed commissioner to the SEC in 2018. Before his appointment, he served as chief counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.
According to Bloomberg, President-elect Joe Biden will select a permanent successor to Clayton, meaning Roisman’s position could be temporary.
Roisman, like Peirce, is considered an ally of the cryptocurrency community for his relatively favorable stance towards digital-asset regulation. While still a member of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs in 2018, Roisman said:
“[...] SEC must examine and re-examine its rules, regulations and guidelines to ensure that they are still working as intended to accomplish the SEC’s mission. This is most recently manifested in areas such as data protection and cybersecurity, as well as the emergence of new investments and technologies such as initial coin offerings and blockchain.”
Roisman was reportedly briefed on the prospects of a Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund shortly after he joined the securities regulator in 2018. Although he was not part of the decision to reject the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust earlier that year — a decision that was strongly opposed by Peirce — Roisman heard numerous arguments for why similar funds should be approved.
Roisman isn’t expected to be a cheerleader for the crypto community, but his presence at the top of the SEC could help digital assets gain more regulatory clarity. That could, in the long run, pave the way for a Bitcoin ETF or similar product.