US SEC Delays Decision On VanEck Bitcoin ETF Application

News | May 21, 2019 By:

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has again delayed its decision on the VanEck and SolidX bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) proposal.

The bitcoin ETF proposal was filed by Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) in June 2018. In September 2018, the SEC postponed its decision claiming that there was not adequate statements support to the proposal. In early January, CBOE withdrew its request for a rule change when the US government shutdown decreased the SEC’s operational abilities. CBOE re-filed the proposal later that month.

On May 20, the SEC posted a notice stating that it is delaying its decision on the VanEck and SolidX Bitcoin ETF proposal, and listed 14 questions open to the public about the bitcoin ETF to determine whether the proposed rule change should be approved or disapproved.

“The Commission is instituting proceedings to allow for additional analysis of the proposed rule change’s consistency with Section 6(b)(5) of the Act, which requires, among other things, that the rules of a national securities exchange be designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices, to promote just and equitable principles of trade,’ and ‘to protect investors and the public interest,” the SEC said.

The SEC, which has yet to approve any bitcoin ETFs, will have until August 19 to either approve, reject or delay the decision. If the decision is postponed yet again, the agency will have to reach a final decision by October 19.

Commenting on the issue, Dave Nadig, managing director of ETF.com, told CNBC that the digital currency’s highly anticipated entrance into the world of exchange-traded funds will likely have to wait a while longer.

“Based on the comments we saw last week around one of these filings, it’s clear the SEC is still in information-gathering mode,” Nadig said. “Technically, there are deadlines, but, honestly, it’s the SEC. They can do what they want. They can kick this can down the road until they’re comfortable.”