CBOE VanEck SolidX Bitcoin ETF Proposal is Back On with the SEC as First Exchange-Traded Fund Looks for Approval


The race to release the world’s first bitcoin ETF is once again underway. Earlier today, it was reported that Cboe resubmitted its bitcoin ETF proposal to the SEC in partnership with VanEck and SolidX.

The news was announced on Thursday by VanEck digital asset strategy lead Gabor Gurbacs. If successful, the January 30 filing would allow the Cboe BZX exchange to list shares of a bitcoin ETF. That bitcoin ETF would be managed by VanEck and SolidX.

Thanks to the re-submission, the SEC now has until October 2019 to approve or deny the bitcoin ETF.

Optimistic bitcoin bulls have suggested that a bitcoin ETF would pave the way for a record-breaking influx of capital into crypto markets. These optimists mention that “trillions” of dollars of institutional capital is waiting on the sidelines for something like an ETF to be approved. In reality, it’s possible that a bitcoin ETF could be approved with minimal impact on the market. Or, it could be the spark that ignites the next bull run – we just don’t know.

Of course, a bitcoin ETF first has to be approved. That’s what VanEck, SolidX, and Cboe are seeking to accomplish. Cboe wants to list the world’s first bitcoin ETF, with that ETF operated by SolidX and VanEck.

Why Did Cboe Resubmit the ETF?

Cboe first submitted the bitcoin ETF proposal from VanEck and SolidX in summer 2018. The SEC has delayed the decision on the proposal multiple times as it weighs approval. To date, the SEC has denied every bitcoin ETF proposal to date. The reasons are constantly similar: the SEC is worried about market manipulation and ineffective price discovery, among other security issues for ordinary investors.

The SEC delayed the decision on the ETF in September, then delayed it again in November, pushing back the final date of approval or denial to February 2019.

Cboe and its supporters believe their ETF is different. They believe it stands a real chance of being the world’s first bitcoin ETF to be approved.

However, the recent government shutdown caused the proposal to be withdrawn from consideration. The parties involved in the bitcoin ETF proposal had been actively negotiating with the SEC. The closure, however, suddenly halted these discussions. To avoid a probable rejection due to the closure, Cboe withdrew its proposal.

The fact that Cboe has resubmitted the bitcoin ETF is a big deal. It gives the SEC more time to research the ETF. It extends the deadline for which the ETF has to be filed. Instead of being forced to make a decision by, say, February 2019, the SEC now has a maximum of 240 days to make a decision.

Cboe filed the request on January 30. However, the re-submission has not yet been added to the Federal Register. The moment the ETF is added to the Federal Register, the 240 day deadline begins.

Now, instead of a deadline of February 27, the SEC has another 240 days from the date of addition to the Federal Register. If the SEC adds the proposal to its bitcoin ETF on Monday, February 4, for example, then the SEC would have up to early October 2019 to make a decision.

Of course, the SEC could make a decision sooner than that time limit.

Cboe’s bitcoin ETF re-submission comes weeks after NYSE Arca filed its own proposal with Bitwise Asset Management. Similar to Cboe’s filing, NYSE Arca’s filing has not yet been added to the Federal Register.

The January 31 filing on the Federal Register did note the January 23 withdrawal of the Cboe bitcoin ETF. It’s unclear when the new Cboe submission and NYSE Arca submission will be added to the Federal Register. Once they are both added, however, the 240 day countdown will begin.

In 2018, analysts were calling for bitcoin ETF approval throughout October, November, and December. Then, that got pushed back to January and February 2019. Now, it looks like we’re going to continue watching the world’s first bitcoin ETF approval throughout 2019. Stay tuned to see if Cboe will really list the world’s first bitcoin ETF – or if this will all be a bunch of hype for nothing.

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