Hopes for a bitcoin exchange-traded fund are being dashed, again. Today, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has once again rescheduled its decision on yet another proposed bitcoin ETF.
In a bid to launch an ETF that is backed by actual bitcoins rather than futures, which would have been the first financial product of its kind, the application was initially filed by Cboe in collaboration with money management firm VanEck and blockchain company SolidX in June 2018.
On this occasion, the SEC said that it is pushing out its decision on the proposed ETF for another three months, namely August 19, 2019, after it has rejected the same application three times previously.
“You should submit only information that you wish to make available publicly. All submissions should refer to File Number SR-CboeBZX-2019-004 and should be submitted by [insert date 21 days from date of publication in the Federal Register]. Rebuttal comments should be submitted by [insert date 35 days from date of publication in the Federal Register],” the SEC explained.
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SEC repeatedly denies the long-awaited bitcoin ETF
Earlier in January, Cboe BZX Exchange shelved its proposal for a coveted bitcoin ETF license after the SEC delayed its approval/disapproval decision for the third time. However, the exchanges operator resubmitted its joint proposal with VanEck and SolidX in February, saying the decision to pull their application was only to prevent an automatic rejection due to US government shutdown, which could have complicated the entire situation.
SolidX was the second company to file for a bitcoin exchange-traded product with the U.S. regulators. Some had argued that the proposal from New York-based VanEck, the ninth biggest ETF provider, was more likely to gain approval thanks to plans for a high minimum share price that would discourage retail investors.
The SEC repeatedly delayed deciding on the application, first extending the time it had to act on the proposal in August, then instituting formal proceedings to determine approval in December, and again extending its deadline to 2019.
Despite investor interest, it seems unlikely that the SEC would be comfortable using bitcoin as an underlying asset in a regulated investment vehicle any time soon.
The SEC also deferred a request to approve the Bitcoin ETF proposed by asset manager Bitwise last week.