Bitcoin ETF Approval Unlikely Before February 2019 Says CNBC Crypto Analyst

Popular CNBC analyst Brian Kelly believes a Bitcoin ETF is likely to get approved only by early next year.

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CNBC’s popular cryptocurrency analysts Brian Kelly is of the view that the U.S SEC will approve Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) no earlier than February next year. He made this statement during an interview on CNBC’s Fast Money August 23.

SEC can defer VanEck SolidX Bitcoin ETF again

Kelly’s prediction that an ETF approval will come no earlier than February of next year was on the basis that the SolidX Bitcoin ETF proposed by VanEck and SolidX will be delayed once more until February 2019.

As previously reported, the SEC requested to delay its decision on the SolidX Bitcoin ETF application from VanEck and SolidX until September. After this request, the SEC won’t be able to demand a delay and will have to issue a final response no later than the final date of February 2019.

Interesting timing

This prediction from Kelly comes just a few hours after the SEC has rejected nine BTC derivatives-based ETF proposals from three applicants on August 22.

The Bitcoin ETF applications were submitted by Direxion, ProShares, and GraniteShares. The commission has since then changed its stance that the rejected ETFs will now be under review, with a new decision to be communicated once the review has been completed.

Kelly pointed out that the commission has the option to delay its final decisions on the proposal again until February at the latest. He believes that delaying the decision to February is what the agency would likely do, citing four further grounds.

Kelly first addressed the concerns that the commission has about Bitcoin ETFs and why it has continued to reject them.

The SEC has cited issues like inadequate resistance to fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices. It is also concerned about the lack of regulations in the market.

Kelly explained that:

“[When] the SEC talked about fraud and manipulation, it wasn’t so much about preventing it, but how do they surveil it? Do they have an arrangement with other [globally or nationally regulated] exchanges [that would enable them to] surveil what’s going on?

SEC also complained that the Bitcoin futures market is not mature enough as they were only launched on CBOE and CME late last year.

Kelly agreed with this point but noted that statistics obtained from CME showed that the futures market is fast evolving and will be properly suited for Bitcoin approval by next year. He argued that:

Here’s CME Futures open interest of large holders. [As of] April, you’re starting to see a big increase… about an 85 percent growth rate. If you extrapolate that out, by February 2019, you’re going to have a very robust market here.

Market stabilizes despite SEC news

Kelly is of the view that the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE)’s plan to establish a global, regulated digital assets ecosystem would help boost the crypto space and derivatives markets.

He concluded by talking about the recent news by the commission to review its fresh spate of ETF rejections. He also talked about the voices supporting Bitcoin ETF in the SEC, notably SEC Commissioner Hester M. Peirce, regarded as crypto mum by many.

Kelly finally pointed out that there are bullish signs of sentiment change which suggests that the market is getting closer to ETF approvals. The fact that there was no market sell-off on the recent rejection news means the sentiments are changing.

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