US regulator puts approval of Bitcoin ETFs on ice


The US regulatory agency pushed back the deadlines a further 45 to 60 days, explaining it needed more time to review the 19b-4 applications

Last Friday saw the SEC once again delay giving a decision on whether a number of entities seeking a US crypto fund approval will receive one. Not for the first time, the SEC pushed the decision deadline back by 45 to 60 days for four applicants, meaning that the earliest any of these companies is expected to get a decision will be November.

“The Commission finds that it is appropriate to designate a longer period within which to issue an order approving or disapproving the proposed rule change so that it has sufficient time to consider the proposed rule change and the issues raised in the comment letters that have been submitted in connection therewith,” filings from the commission read.

The SEC now plans to deliver a decision on Global X Bitcoin Trust on 21 November. Valkyrie XBTO Bitcoin Futures Fund’s decision is now slated for 8 December, while WisdomTree will get a verdict on 11 December. The SEC added that a pronouncement on Kryptoin Bitcoin ETF is to be given on 24 December.

VanEck was the first company to file an application seeking approval for a Bitcoin ETF, followed by a dozen other companies. At present, the regulatory body is yet to assent to most of the applicants. The agency has become notorious for dragging its feet, with the few that have received a decision getting rejected.

However, with the current market many feel the SEC will soon approve the first Bitcoin ETF. A prediction from Bloomberg analysts suggests that approval could come as soon as this month. The analysts hinted at Proshares’ Bitcoin futures ETF as the one that could receive the first green light.  

The approval of a Bitcoin ETF will be an essential growth marker for the ETP market worldwide, which currently comprises products worth $263 billion. Approval is being viewed as a game-changer as it will open up the market to many conservative individuals who are reluctant to buy crypto directly.

SEC Chairman Gary Gensler has received some heat from the crypto community, more recently after saying crypto is not a practical form of private money while comparing stablecoins to casino poker chips. Gensler has widely been negative on offering support to crypto products in the current environment but has curiously not held the same view for Bitcoin futures. He has in the past asserted that Bitcoin ETFs would be more welcome if they were based on Bitcoin futures rather than the asset directly.

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