SEC Is delaying another bitcoin ETF decision

10 August, 2018

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is in no hurry to review the pile of Bitcoin ETF filings it has been accumulating over the past year.

Not three weeks since postponing its decision on five other Bitcoin ETFs, the SEC has indicated in a public statement that it will be delaying its decision to approve or reject SolidX Bitcoin Shares until late September.

“Accordingly, the Commission, pursuant to Section 19(b)(2) of the Act, designates September 30, 2018, as the date by which the Commission shall either approve or disapprove, or institute proceedings to determine whether to disapprove, the proposed rule change (File No. SR-CboeBZX-2018-040),” the statement reads.

Submitted back in June, the proposed rule change to permit the ETF comes from the Chicago Board Options Exchange (Cboe), which was cleared to list Bitcoin futures in December of last year. If approved, the ETF would be listed on Cboe’s BZX exchange in cooperation with legacy investment management company VanEck and crypto startup SolidX. This is VanEck’s second attempt to list a Bitcoin ETF after their first attempt was nixed by the SEC last year.

This is also the BZX exchange’s second attempt to secure a Bitcoin ETF listing. On July 26, 2018, a day after the SEC prolonged its deliberation for Direxion Asset Management’s five filings, the SEC rejected BZX’s joint filingwith the Winklevoss twins. The ETF was rejected on the grounds that BZX has “not met its burden under the Exchange Act and the Commission’s Rules of Practice to demonstrate that its proposal is consistent with the requirements of the Exchange Act Section 6(b)(5), in particular the requirement that its rules be designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices.”

With each successive rejection or prolonged decision, the industry continues to fight an uphill battle against regulators to secure its first exchange traded fund. Many believe such a listing would open the floodgates for institutional money.

SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce believes that it could also invite more mature regulation, both from the private and public sectors. On the latest rejection by the SEC, she expressed to Bitcoin Magazine that the decision is “not a great precedent,” believing that the SEC’s decision misconstrues the commission’s purpose to protect investors as a method to decide what is and isn’t a legitimate investment.


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