- SEC has given different dates for the 3 ETFs
- The Commission has approved no bitcoin ETF’s yet
- SEC still cites market concerns
The United States’ Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has once again deferred the decision on three bitcoin exchange-trade fund (ETF) proposals. The commission has set new dates for the eagerly awaited decision.
Designate a Longer Period
The decision is contained in three documents published by the Commission on August 12, 2019, on its website showing the deferral of a decision to list Bitwise Bitcoin ETF Trust on NYSE Arca to October 13 and VanEck to October 18. SEC has also delayed the decision on Wilshire Phoenix’s United States Bitcoin and Treasury Investment Trust to September 29. The SEC stated:
“The Commission finds it appropriate to designate a longer period within which to issue an order approving or disapproving the proposed rule change so that it has sufficient time to consider this proposed rule change.”
No Progress Made
Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) are a kind of security that is tracked by assets that are proportionately represented in the fund’s shares. Most investors consider these as a step forward for the mass adoption of digital assets. VanEck filed its proposal in January while Bitwise filed its current proposal in February. Wilshire Phoenix filed its proposal in the Federal Register on July 1, 2019.
None of the organizations have made any progress in winning the regulator’s approval. Wilshire Phoenix Fund joined the waitlist in June by proposing a fund that hedges bitcoin with Treasury bills. The existing securities laws give the SEC the right to postpone its decision on proposed financial products in order to gather information or further deliberate on a rule change that would allow the listing.
Gather More Information
The announcement by the SEC is one among several delays on bitcoin exchange-traded funds, having delayed making similar decisions on the VanEck and Bitwise ETF applications in the months of March, May and now in August. During the last postponement that happened in May, the commission published a list of questions to enable the public to give its opinion and gather more information concerning VanEck’s application. The SEC “crypto-mom” Hester Pierce dampened the hopes of investors when she advised not to hold their breath concerning the bitcoin ETF applications. She stated:
“Definitely possible could be 20 years from now or it could be tomorrow. Don’t hold your breath. The SEC took a long time to establish Finhub. It might take even longer to approve an exchange-traded product.”
To date, the SEC has yet to approve any bitcoin ETF proposals with SEC Chief Jay Clayton citing concerns with market manipulation, market surveillance and a potential divergence with futures trading as some issues.