Bitcoin ETF delayed as SEC seeks further comment

Final decision on the Cboe, VanEck and SolidX Bitcoin ETF bid is now expected to be announced in February 2019.

The US financial markets watchdog has delayed a decision on an industry application to launch a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) for the second time, as it seeks further comment to make its final decision.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said in a regulatory filing that it needs a longer period within which to approve or disapprove the bid, after receiving more than 1,400 comment letters on the subject.

Despite the need to delay its final judgement, the SEC added that it has not reached any conclusions on any issues related to the proposal.

“Institution of proceedings does not indicate that the Commission has reached any conclusions with respect to any of the issues involved. Rather…  the Commission seeks and encourages interested persons to provide comments on the proposed rule change,” the SEC said.

Specifically, the regulator is seeking further comment on issues such as the assertation that Bitcoin is arguably less susceptible to manipulation than other commodities which underline exchange-traded products (ETPs).  

First made in June, the application for the Bitcoin ETF was submitted by CBOE Global Markets which wants to list and trade Bitcoin shares, backed by asset manager VanEck and blockchain company SolidX. VanEck SolidX Bitcoin Trust previously had two applications to have its Bitcoin shares listed as ETFs rejected.

The SEC first delayed its decision on the matter in August by one month shortly after it rejected nine other Bitcoin ETF applications. The applications were submitted by the likes of cryptocurrency exchange Gemini, established by brothers Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, who are both renowned for having become two of the first Bitcoin billionaires, NYSE Arca and ProShares. The regulator has since said that it is reviewing those rejected bids to launch a Bitcoin ETF.

The final decision on the Cboe, VanEck and SoldX proposal was due to be announced on 30 September, under the latest delay, the decision is not expected to be announced until February 2019.