SEC Decision Deadline Day For ProShares Bitcoin ETF is August 23, 2018
SEC is Days From Deadline: Regulatory Body Must Decide on ProShares Bitcoin ETF by Thursday
It's been less than a month since the US' regulatory agency, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that it would be delaying its decision on the prospect of a Bitcoin Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) spearheaded by VanEck and SolidX. But while this gives the impression that it's placed a lot of air between itself and Bitcoin ETF's, you'd be wrong.
In the span of this week, the SEC must come to a lasting decision on two specific ETFs, finalizing whether it wishes to approve or disapprove them, with the cryptocurrency market waiting on tenterhooks for the verdict.
Officials within the US Securities organization are poised to make a decision on both the ProShares Bitcoin ETF and its accompanying Short Bitcoin ETF, the deadline? Thursday, August 23rd. The expediency of this decision runs completely against the grain, especially when considering VanEck and SolidX necessitated a delay from the SEC for a full verdict. This rule change proposal – filed by ProShares in conjunction with NYSE Arca – cannot be delayed any further under the regulator's rules.
In contrast to the SolidX and VanEck proposals, the ProShares ETF pitches were submitted to the SEC last December, and are underpinned by the already existing Bitcoin futures contracts that exist on the market, instead of actual physical Bitcoin holdings. And this is a major difference: ProShares' ETF value derives from Bitcoin futures contracts and their trading on CME, or the CBOE Futures Exchange, according to the initial filing.
The ProShares ETF was originally put forward to the SEC in September 2017, but stated in the proposal that the futures market was relatively young and that “there can be no assurance that an active trading market for bitcoin futures contracts will develop or be maintained,” according to the filing.
As a result of this statement, the ProShares Trust initially asked the SEC to withdraw the proposed rule change which was filed on December 19th 2017, outlining the ProShares Bitcoin and Short Bitcoin ETFs, including the concept of a ProShares Bitcoin Futures/Equity Strategy ETF, alongside the proposed ProShares Bitcoin/Blockchain Strategy ETF.
The request for a withdrawal came after the SEC decided to push back against a certain amount of ETF proposals, citing concerns regarding the volatility of Bitcoin at the time within the market. A number of other similar Bitcoin ETF proposals were also dropped, these included Direxion Shares, VanEck and First Trust Advisors.
It was announced later, however, by the SEC that it would consider the proposals that were pinned to the futures market at the end of January.
By this point, the regulator has only ever delayed or denied the vast number of Bitcoin Proposals that have been put forward to it. The latest was the proposal which was filed by Gemini Founders last month, including the long-time Bitcoin supporters, and widely known investors, Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss.
These proposals had already been considered and rejected by the spring of 2017, but companies such as the Bats BZX Exchange submitted a proposal and filed an appeal which was later heard by SEC commissioners, demonstrating that the regulatory organization is willing to listen to reason.