On Thursday (20 September 2018), the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that it needed more time to make a decision regarding the VanEck-SolidX Bitcoin ETF, and it set 29 December 2018 as the new deadline.
Via a notice published on its website, the SEC said that on 20 June 2018, Cboe BZX Exchange (BZX) had filed with the SEC "a proposed rule change to list and trade shares of SolidX Bitcoin Shares issued by the VanEck SolidX Bitcoin Trust", which got published in the Federal Register on 2 July 2018.
Since the SEC had 45 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register to make a decision, it could have wait till 16 August 2018 to make an announcement. However, as covered by CryptoGlobe, the SEC decided on 7 August 2018 to exercise its right to extend this deadline by another 45 days to 30 September 2018 so that (in the words used by the SEC in this latest notice) it would have "a longer period within which to approve the proposed rule change, disapprove the proposed rule change, or institute proceedings to determine whether to disapprove the proposed rule change."
This is the language used by the SEC to announce today's extension of the deadline for making a decision:
This order institutes proceedings under Section 19(b)(2)(B) of the Act to determine whether to approve or disapprove the proposed rule change.
According to the Section 19(b)(2)(B of the Exchange Act, the new deadline is 180 days after the date of publication of the proposal in the Federal Register, which means 2 July 2018 + 180 days, or 29 December 2018.
8.1/ The SEC asks some tough questions about VanEck's proposal. Eighteen multi-part questions over seven pages, to be exact.— Jake Chervinsky (@jchervinsky) September 20, 2018
If you want to know *all* the reasons why the SEC doesn't want to approve a bitcoin ETF in excruciating detail, read pages 11 through 17 of this document.
8.2/ Question #13 is the one that killed all the derivative-backed ETFs (and to a lesser extent the Winklevoss ETF too).— Jake Chervinsky (@jchervinsky) September 20, 2018
It's not encouraging to see the SEC ask if the bitcoin futures markets are "of significant size" despite having already concluded last month that they're not. pic.twitter.com/9VUzQlkPy2
8.3/ In fact, several of these questions appear rhetorical: designed to make a point rather than solicit information.— Jake Chervinsky (@jchervinsky) September 20, 2018
For example, Question #14 asks "whether the Gemini Exchange is a market of significant size." In the Winklevoss appeal denial, the SEC explicitly said it's not.
According to Chervinsky, the SEC must make another announcement by 29 December 2018. It could then delay for another 60 days until 27 February 2019, and "that would be the absolute final deadline."
Gabor Gurbacs, the Digital Asset Strategist/ (and Director) at VanEck/MVIS, had this to say about today's announcement:
I am humbled and impressed by the public support of the VanEck-SolidX initiative to bring to market a well-constructed, liquid, physical, insured Bitcoin ETF. 🙏1400+ comments, 99%+ in favor. The public has spoken! Bitcoin is compatible with the U.S. and global capital markets. pic.twitter.com/Ufuq0swwYT— Gabor Gurbacs (@gaborgurbacs) September 20, 2018
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