Although 2019 was the awaited year to see the first Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF) operative in the market, we might have to wait until 2020. Even when there is a slight chance to have a Bitcoin-related ETF approved this year, the chances of the U.S. Securities and Commission (SEC) approving it are very low.
VanEck, SolidX and Cboe BZX Exchange took the decision to withdraw one of the most discussed and anticipated Bitcoin ETF proposals a few days ago due to the ongoing U.S. government shutdown. This proposal was filed back in June and was analyzed during this whole period of time by the SEC. The final decision was scheduled for February 27. Nevertheless, due to the fact that public offices are not currently working, legal experts believed that there was no chance to have an approved ETF.
Now, these companies are going to be trying to re-file and re-engage in these discussions with the SEC. They are waiting for the end of the shutdown to start discussing these issues.
There are other companies that are interested in launching a Bitcoin ETF. For example, Bitwise Asset Management announced that it wanted to file for a fund with NYSE Arca. However, the submission was not yet made.
There are other rule change proposals for ETFs that are yet experiencing some issues. Back in 2018, the proposals made by ProShares, Direxion and GraniteShares were also rejected the last year by the SEC. The main concerns related to this rejections were related to market manipulation.
According to attorney Jake Chervinsky, it is possible for a Bitcoin ETF to be approved by the end of the current year. During a conversation with CoinDesk, Chervinsky explained that the date of approval depends on when the ETF proposal is filed and the state of the Bitcoin market at the time of the SEC decision.
Chervinsky mentioned that the SEC has 240 days to approve or reject a specific ETF. That means that to have a chance to be approved in 2019, an ETF proposal must be submitted before May 5, 2019. In this way, the SEC would have time until December 31st to make a decision on whether to approve or not this proposal.
“The question will then be whether the bitcoin markets mature enough before the SEC makes its decision to adequately address all the issues that have killed ETF proposals in the past, such as valuation, liquidity, custody, and market manipulation.”
For him, 10 months of development and work in the cryptocurrency space should be enough to approve a Bitcoin ETF.
After the withdrawal of the proposal made by VanEck, SolidX and Cboe, the market remained stable and did not crash as many would have expected.