The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has once again rescheduled its decision on whether to approve Bitcoin exchange-traded fund proposed by VanEck and SolidX.
The regulator pushed the deadline to make a decision on the proposed ETF to February 27, 2019. A decision was expected no earlier than December 29, 180 days from the time the ETF duo submitted their application for the fund.
“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,” the SEC explained.
The US top regulator had received more than 1,600 comments on the proposed rule change as of December 6, it said.
The SEC’s move represented the third delay since the proposal was initially filed by Cboe in collaboration with money management firm VanEck and blockchain company SolidX on June 20.
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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.
Bitcoin ETF Proposals Facing Regulatory Hurdles
Last year, the company withdrew an application to list a bitcoin derivatives ETF after the SEC said it wouldn’t review a petition for a fund that intends to invest in virtual assets that aren’t yet available. In addition, the agency refused to grant an exemption that would have let SolidX become the first bitcoin-based ETF to launch on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
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 denied a request to approve the Winklevoss twins’ bid to list a bitcoin ETF on the BATS exchange.