SEC Pushes the VanEck Bitcoin ETF Approval Date to February 27, 2019

Bhushan Akolkar
By Bhushan Akolkar
Posted on Dec. 7, 2018
SEC Pushes the VanEck Bitcoin ETF Approval Date to February 27, 2019

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has finally announced to delay its decision on the VanEck Bitcoin ETF approval to end of February, 2019. Earlier this year, The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) joined hands with money manager VanEck and blockchain startup SolidX to get an SEC license to trade the Bitcoin Exchange-Traded-Fund (ETF).

According to the Federal Register, the first proposed rule change for notice and filing was published on July 2, 2019. The Securities and Exchange Act says that post the initial filing date, the commission must “issue an order approving or disapproving the proposed rule change not later than 180 days”. If deemed necessary, the commission gets an additional 60 days for review. 

The latest SEC document notes: “December 29,2018, is 180 days from that date (July 2, 2018), and February 27, 2019 is 240 days from that date. The Commission finds it appropriate to designate a longer period within which to issue an order approving or disapproving the proposed rule change so that it has sufficient time to consider this proposed rule change”. 

Hence this is the final deadline post which the SEC has only two options, either to approve or to reject the ETF proposal. 

Over the last months, a lot has been going around the arrival of VanEck Bitcoin ETF. Investors have pinned their hopes on VanEck Bitcoin ETF as its arrival would certainly increase liquidity for Bitcoin in the U.S. market. The arrival of ETF will allow retail and institutional investors to securely invest in the asset class without locking horns with the regulatory bodies. 

However, last week, Cryptoscanner reported SEC Chairman Jay Clayton saying that the crypto exchanges still lack the necessary tools to protect crypto trades from manipulation and other abusive activities. 

“When you see an asset trade on Nasdaq or NYSE, there’s a great deal of surveillance preventing you and I from teaming up and pretending we’re decentralized. Those sort of safeguards don’t exist in a lot of markets where digital currencies trade,” said Clayton.

VanEck Director - “America Wants a Bitcoin ETF”

VanEck’s director of digital asset strategy - Gabor Gurbacs - showed confidence over SEC’s approval for their Bitcoin ETF proposal. While speaking to Cheddar News, Gurbacs said: 

“It’s fairly certain to us that America wants a bitcoin ETF. We think that we’ve met all market structure obstacles and requirements on pricing, custody, valuation, and safekeeping, so we are cautiously optimistic.”

On the other hand, SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce asked investors not to wait for it eagerly. She added that it can come as early as tomorrow or might even take 20 years. Peirce is popularly known as “Crypto Mom” in the crypto community for her crypto-friendly approach in the past. 

She added: “Don’t hold your breath. I do caution people to not live or die on when a crypto or bitcoin ETF gets approved. You all know that I am working on trying to convince my colleagues to have a bit more of an open mind when it comes to [crypto]. I am not as charming as some other people.”

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