US SEC reveals progress made on Bitcoin ETF proposal

Mae Love
October 8, 2018

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has put forth a time line for studying the suggested rule changes intertwined with a flurry of applications to list, buy and sell several Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded funds (ETFs). This was clearly stated in the letter filed by CEO of GraniteShares, William Rhind, to the SEC.

Element Group, a cryptocurrency economics and digital assets solutions analyst, published a report explaining that the SEC's delay in approving bitcoin ETF proposals is the primary reason why the market has become so boring in recent weeks.

Subsequently, the SEC punted on another bitcoin ETF application - a physically-backed fund proposed by VanEck and SolidX - delaying ruling on that fund until at least December. The SEC isn't rejecting Bitcoin ETFs because they hate Bitcoin; the SEC is rejecting a Bitcoin ETF because all the previous ETFs failed to meet certain rules and requirements.

The SEC had previously rejected the proposals - pursued by ProShares, GraniteShares and Direxion along with market providers NYSE Arca or Cboe - while highlighting issues with the underlying bitcoin futures markets and the risk that the actual spot bitcoin market is at risk of manipulation.

On January 5, 2018, Cboe BZX Exchange, Inc. The cases involve ETF applications from three separate entities seeking to list their ETFs on major trading platforms.

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On June 28, 2018, the Commission extended the period for consideration of the proposed rule change to September 15, 2018.

The SEC has reportedly issued a 26 October deadline for the review of 9 Bitcoin ETF applications and, while there are hopes of a reversal to rejections, the reality remains that both fraudulent and price manipulative actions persist that could leave the SEC with little choice but to reject the applications pending the introduction of an appropriate regulatory framework that addresses both of the SEC's key concerns.

The agency has requested additional information from "any party or other person" who wishes to submit statements in support of or opposition to the ETFs.

The final expiry date for submitting comments for or against the Bitcoin ETF has been set on October 26th 2018. On 23 August 2018, however, the SEC announced that the draft would be revised and that the decision to approve or not approve the ETF was further suspended.

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