The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has once again delayed its decision on a Bitcoin-based Exchange Traded Fund (ETF). The commission announced on Thursday that it will be decided next year.
The statement released by the commission read:
“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. Accordingly, the Commission, pursuant to Section 19(b)(2) of the Act designates February 27, 2019, as the date by which the Commission shall either approve or disapprove the proposed rule change.”
VanEck-SolidX Bitcoin ETF
The Bitcoin ETF proposal by to list and trade shares of SolidX Bitcoin Shares issued by the money manager VanEck in partnership with CBOE was originally sent to SEC in June. By August, the commission delayed the decision on the proposed rule change and later in September, the exchange opened proceedings for it decisions which include comments. As at Thursday when the commission released its statement, the proposal has garnered over 1,600 comments.
The SEC will have to deliver a YES or NO decision by February according to SEC rules which stipulates a maximum of 240 days for a decision to be reached on such a proposal—180 days plus 60 days additional period.
While other bitcoin ETF proposals are based on bitcoin futures contracts the VanEck/SolidX proposal is based on bitcoin itself.
SEC’s decision comes after a series of unfavorable decisions towards crypto-based ETFs in the past. As Smartereum reported, the commission had turned down proposals by Gemini Exchange on two separate occasions. Furthermore, the commission staff rejected 9 bitcoin ETF proposals by ProShares, GraniteShares, and Direxion in a single day in August. It, however, rescinded the decision announcing that it would review the decisions and reopened the comment period until November 6 for new input from the public for and against the proposals.
Bitcoin ETF Approval may take Days or Years
A lot of crypto enthusiasts believe that the institutionalization of the market particularly through the approval of a crypto-based ETF will lead to the next bull ride in the crypto market often drawing parallels with the impact of ETF approval on other asset classes like gold.
Commissioner Hester Peirce of the SEC has warned against this fixation on bitcoin ETF approval. According to the pro-crypto commissioner, a positive bitcoin ETF is uncertain; it can take a day or years, she said at a conference in Washington. She reportedly said that she I working to convince other commissioners to be more open-minded towards digital assets.
Peirce was quoted as saying:
“Don’t hold your breath. I do caution people to not live or die on when a crypto or bitcoin ETF gets approved. You all know that I am working on trying to convince my colleagues to have a bit more of an open mind when it comes to [crypto]. I am not as charming as some other people.”