SEC Begins Bitcoin ETF Rule Change Review by NYSE Arca and Bitwise Asset Management's Proposal

The crypto community has been waiting for the SEC to approve a bitcoin ETF for a long time now and it seems the process is entering the final stages. The SEC has now announced that they have begun the process of reviewing the proposed bitcoin ETF rule change filed by NYSE Arca and Bitwise Asset Management.

The proposal was formally published on February 15, 2019, and as a result, the SEC has 45 days to review and make a decision on the proposed rule change and could decide to accept, reject or request an extension of the proposal. As for the ETF itself, the SEC has about 240 days to give a decision.

As the review process begins, members of the public will be given a three-week window during which they can submit options and comments about the proposal before the SEC’s decision is made public. The ETF has been heavily pursued by the crypto community with several firms such as Gemini firing for an ETF, and many getting rejected. The reason the ETF is so coveted is that it would bring a lot of liquidity to the market and will also give crypto an unprecedented level of mainstream exposure which will do a lot of good.

Back And Forth

NYSE arca and BitWise announced the filing of their ETF and the filing of their rule change proposal in January 2019 and at the time, expressed optimism about their chances of acceptance.

“We believe the crypto trading ecosystem has evolved in significant ways in the past year … Having a regulated bank or trust company hold physical assets of a fund has been the standard under U.S. fund regulation for the last 80 years, and we believe that is now possible with bitcoin,”

Bitwise global head of Exchange-Traded Funds John Hyland said,

“we are optimistic that 2019 should be the year that a bitcoin ETF launches.”

Initially, both filings weren’t formally announced by the commission due to the government shutdown that was ongoing at the time. Now that they have been announced, another round of anticipation begins. While some in the crypto community have grown fatigued by the back-and-forth that has been going on with the Commission, others are still holding out hope.

Just recently, Robert J. Jackson Jr., a commissioner at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, stated that he had faith in an eventual approval.

“Eventually, do I think someone will satisfy the standards that we’ve laid out there? I hope so, yes, and I think so,”

he said.

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