SEC Stalls Again on Four Bitcoin ETFs, Pushes Rulings Back Another 60-Days

Bitcoin ETF cryptocurrency trading and investment concept on double exposure background.
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The Securities and Exchange Commission once again pushed its decision on several Bitcoin exchange-traded funds, moving its ruling to November and December.

See: Institutional Investors’ Bitcoin ETF Appetite Grows, While SEC still Stalling on Approvals
Find: Coinbase Expands Banking Services by Letting Users Deposit Paychecks Into Their Accounts

Kryptoin Bitcoin ETF, WisdomTree Bitcoin Trust, Valkyrie XBTO Bitcoin Futures Fund and Global X Bitcoin Trust, saw their applications’ approval pushed to Dec. 24, 2021, Dec. 11, Dec. 8 and Nov. 21, respectively, according to SEC filings.

“The Commission finds that it is appropriate to designate a longer period within which to take action on the proposed rule change so that it has sufficient time to consider the proposed rule change and any comments,” the SEC said in each of its notices.

Some observers don’t find the SEC’s decision to delay their approval surprising. David Grasso, BOLD TV CEO, told GOBankingRates, “the government is acting cautiously because the cryptocurrency space is far from mature. We still see a lot of negative news on cryptocurrency in the headlines, and naturally, some regulators may still be skeptical about the future of Bitcoin.”

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Investors and investment managers have anxiously been awaiting a decision from the SEC on the approval of Bitcoin ETFs, which would have to be traded on the “exchange” — in other words, on the stock market (and therefore, only during the hours the stock market is open). Right now, cryptos don’t have any such limitations and can be traded anytime.

Underlying the increasing interest in crypto ETFs and signaling investor hopefulness that a digital asset ETF will be approved by regulators, the Fidelity Digital Assets 2021 Institutional Investor Digital Assets Study found that 30% of U.S. respondents said they would prefer to buy an investment product, compared to 18% in the previous year, according to the survey.

See: What Are Altcoins — and Are the Potential Rewards Worth the Risks?
Find: Why Are ETFs So Popular?

While several companies have filed crypto ETFs with the SEC, the Commission has either rejected or delayed its decisions on many of them. VanEck, for example, registered its ETF in March, and the SEC usually takes 45 days to approve or disapprove a filing. The Commission has issued several notices to extend the review period. Just last month, the SEC said it intends to take an additional 60 days to review the proposed rule change and “accordingly, designates November 14, 2021, as the date by which the Commission shall either approve or disapprove the proposed rule change.”

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Fidelity also filed a Bitcoin ETF in April, the Wise Origin Bitcoin Trust ETF, which will track Bitcoin performance as measured by the performance of the Fidelity Bitcoin Index PR, according to the SEC filing.

About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.

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