Shearman & Sterling LLP | FinTech Insights | SEC Pushes Bitcoin ETF Decision to February
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  • SEC Pushes Bitcoin ETF Decision to February
    12/12/2018
    On December 6, 2018, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that it is delaying a decision on whether to approve a proposed rule change requested by the Cboe BZX Exchange that would allow it to list and trade shares of an exchange-traded fund (ETF) issued by the VanEck SolidX Bitcoin Trust.  The SEC said it would make a final decision on the proposal by February 27, 2019.

    This is the third time the agency has delayed a decision on the proposal, which was first proposed on June 20, 2018.  The SEC said it has received over 1,600 comments on the proposed rule change, and it believes it is appropriate to delay the decision in order to provide the agency with sufficient time to consider the proposal.

    To date, the SEC has rejected several other applications to list bitcoin ETFs, often citing issues such as bitcoin’s susceptibility to fraud and the potential for market manipulation.  While it remains unclear whether or not the SEC will approve this particular application, the decision will provide an indication of whether the agency believes these issues have been properly addressed.