The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has recently postponed its decision on whether to approve a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) proposed by Bitwise, a popular cryptocurrency startup.
The San Francisco-based firm filed its initial registration earlier this year, in January, and in February the clock started ticking as the SEC revealed it was starting to review the application, filed by NYSE Arca, an Intercontinental Exchange (ICE)-owned firm, and Bitwise Asset Management. As covered, it has 45 days to approve, reject, or extend the proposal.
Since the proposal was extended the SEC’s decision isn’t set to come on April 1, but rather in mid-May. While it may be extended again, the regulator has up to 240 days since the application was first filed to make a final decision on the ETF.
The proposal will reportedly see NYSE Arca, which focuses on trading stocks and options rather than large-cap stocks traded on the New York Stock Exchange, list the Bitcoin ETF, while Bitwise Index Services will produce and manage the bitcoin ETF.
Bitwise believes its ETF may be approved as its application differs from others that have been rejected. This, as it will safeguard its holdings in a cold storage solution with a regulated third-party custodian. Its index also draws its prices from various cryptocurrency exchanges.
John Hyland, Bitwise’s global head of ETFs, stated in a press release back in January:
Having a regulated bank or trust company hold physical assets of a fund has been the standard under U.S. fund regulation for the last 80 years, and we believe that is now possible with bitcoin.
In that same press release Hyland revealed the firm is “optimistic” this year will see a bitcoin ETF launch. Last year, as CryptoGlobe covered, the SEC rejected nine bitcoin ETF proposals based on bitcoin futures, with two of them coming from ProShares, five from Dirextion, and two from GraniteShares.
Bitwise’s bitcoin ETF is based on physical BTC, and so is that of VanEck and SolidX, which was months ago removed and quickly resubmitted.