[Breaking] SEC Delays Bitwise and VanEck/SolidX CBOE Bitcoin ETF Proposal; 45 More Days

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has decided that it would need more time to decide on whether or not it will approve the filing by Bitwise Asset Management and NYSE Arca. Earlier in January, a joint effort from both parties, proposed that the SEC approve a:

“rule change to list and trade shares of the Bitwise Bitcoin ETF Trust under NYSE Arca Rule 8.201-E.”

The SEC’s Timeframe for Bitwise Bitcoin ETF

When a notice of filing for a rule change is published, the Commission generally has 45 days to “either approve or disapprove, or institute proceedings to determine whether to disapprove the proposed rule change.” The commission may however increase this timeframe by another 45 days if it’s required for proper deliberations.

The commission has however stated that it might be until the 16th of May, 2019, before it will make a proper decision. According to the document published by the commission’s deputy secretary, Eduardo A. Aleman:

“The Commission finds it 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. Accordingly, the Commission, pursuant to Section 19(b)(2) of the Act, designates May 16, 2019 as the date by which the Commission shall either approve or disapprove, or institute proceedings to determine whether to disapprove, the proposed rule change.”

The SEC’s Timeframe for VanEck/SolidX Cboe Bitcoin ETF

At the same time the SEC delayed the Bitwise ETF, they have also pushed the VanEck / Cboe Bitcoin Exchange Traded Fund. It now has an additional 45 days to come to a decision. This would now make May 21st the new deadline.

Other Matters before the Commission

The Bitwise Asset Management/NYSE Arca case isn’t the only one currently before the SEC. Last June, VanEck – an investment firm – made a collaborative effort with SolidX, a financial solutions firm and Cboe BZX Exchange, to make a filing on the provision of a:

“physically-backed bitcoin ETF that will be insured against loss or theft of bitcoin.”

However, on the 22nd of January, Cboe BZX Exchange withdrew the filing, with the CEO of VanEck – Jan van Eck – explaining that the withdrawal was forced by the government shutdown, experienced in the U.S.

By the 30th of January, Cboe BZX Exchange resubmitted the proposal. The resubmission was published on Feb 20 automatically giving the SEC a deadline of April 6 to either approve or disapprove.

It’s important to note here that up till now, the SEC has yet to officially approve any proposal for a Bitcoin ETF. Regardless, it is generally hoped by a few major players in the sector that 2019 might be the year an approval like that would be seen.

According to Robert Jackson, SEC Commissioner, at some point, whatever rules or criteria set by the Commission will eventually be met, insinuating that the SEC will not be able to avoid approving these proposals.


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