New Cryptocurrency-based ETF Filed with US SEC

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has received another application for a cryptocurrency-based exchange-traded-fund (ETF). Submitted on May 9, 2019, the latest crypto ETF application was prepared by Crescent Crypto Index Services LLC, a subsidiary of Crescent Crypto Asset Management LLC.

Crescent Crypto Index Fund (“XBET”)

According to Crescent Crypto’s prospectus, the ETF will “track the performance of a market capitalization weighted portfolio of bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH).” Referred to as the USCF Crescent Crypto Index Fund (“XBET”), the ETF is supported by the US Commodity Funds LLC (USCF), which will reportedly invest XBET’s assets in both BTC and ETH (held in the investment portfolio).

According to the ETF application: “XBET is an exchange traded fund. This means that most investors who decide to buy or sell shares of XBET place their trade orders through their brokers and may incur customary brokerage commissions and charges.”

As noted in Crescent Crypto’s prospectus, shares of XBET are “expected to trade” on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) Arca under ticker symbol “XBET.” In a manner that is similar to how traditional ETFs are traded, the crypto-based ETF, if approved, will “be bought and sold throughout the trading day at bid and ask prices like other publicly traded securities.”

Founded in 2005 and headquartered in Oakland, California, the United States Commodity Funds LLC is “an issuer of exchange traded commodity products (ETPs).” Notably, the first fund it launched (in 2006) was United States Oil Fund, LP, which is reportedly “the first commodity ETF based on crude oil launched in the United States.”

Bitwise Asset Management, VanEck/SolidX ETFs Applications To Be Reviewed This Month

USCF is currently regulated by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the National Futures Association - under the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA).

Currently, there are several ETFs that have been filed with the SEC, including one submitted by Bitwise Asset Management with NYSE Arca and one by VanEck/SolidX, which was filed through a partnership with Chicago Board of Options Exchange (Cboe).

In March 2019, the SEC postponed its decision on whether to approve ETF applications filed by both VanEck/SolidX and Bitwise Asset Management. The federal securities regulator is now expected to review both ETFs this month.

Cryptocurrency Volatility May Be Affected By ETF Decisions

To date, the SEC has not approved any cryptocurrency ETF applications, however several analysts have argued that one will be approved in the foreseeable future.

According to a recent report from SFOX, a “prime dealer of cryptoassets for sophisticated traders and institutional investors,” the volatility of cryptocurrencies may be affected by “Bitcoin exchange-traded-fund (ETF) decisions,” among other factors such as the expiration of crypto futures contracts, and the discussions during “major” crypto and blockchain conferences such as Consensus which is taking place mid-May