On Friday (January 18th), American lawyer Jake Chervinsky, who is highly-respected in the crypto community for his excellent commentaries on how U.S. securities laws affect companies that deal with cryptoassets, decided to focus his attention on the VanEck-SolidX Bitcoin ETF proposal and how its approval/denial may (or may not) be affected by the current U.S. government shutdown (which began on 22 December 2018).

Chervinsky, an associate at the Washington, D.C. office of prestigious international law firm Kobre & Kim, as usual, was expressing his personal opinions via his personal Twitter account, and it is important to note that his tweets do not reflect the views of any past/present/future employer/client and should not be viewed as legal/financial advice.

The reason that Chervisnky took to Twitter to comment on this particular Bitcoin ETF proposal and how it might be affected by the current government shutdown is that he had noticed on Twitter “a lot of confusion & misinformation about how the shutdown affects the SEC and its process for handling ETF proposals.”

Chervinsky started by reminding everyone that the final U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) deadline for approval or disapproval of this particular ETF proposal is February 27th:

He then pointed out that this was a statutory deadline and what the implications of this fact were:

Next, he pointed out a very common misconception he had come across on Twitter:

Chervinsky points out that although the SEC is shorthanded right now, this does not mean that certain important functions are being ignored:

But what if Chervinsky is wrong about his assumption that the SEC’s “skeleton crew” will deal with the business of issuing an approval/disapproval order for this ETF proposal? Chervinsky, says, that if he is wrong, then one of two things must have happened, and explains what each of these scenarios means:

Chervinsky next points out that if the government shutdown continues until February 27th, then it is extremely unlikely that we will see the Commission approve this proposal, and explains why:

He concludes his commentary on the VanEck-SolidX Bitcoin ETF proposal by saying that contrary to what seems to be popular opinion, the current government shutdown cannot possibly improve the chances of this proposal getting approved by the SEC:

As for the Bakkt’s proposed Bitcoin (BTC) futures contract and the trading platform that will allow buying and selling of this new product, Chervinsky explains why the government shutdown will not influence the

U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission

(CFTC), the regulatory body that is dealing with Bakkt’s application:


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