SEC Delays Decision On Direxion Bitcoin ETF Until September

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) put off a decision on the Bitcoin ETF filing by Direxion until September.


The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) put off a decision on the Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) filing by Direxion at least until September 21, 2018.

The SEC’s notice applies to the specific proposal made by Direxion and not the other applications before it. It also means that the public will still need to await communication from the commission with regard to approval.

According to documents made public Tuesday, July 24, the regulator has postponed making a decision on all five bitcoin ETF proposals that were filed in January by Direxion. The five funds would have seen one that matches Bitcoin’s price and another four based on the leading crypto’s price.

On January 4, Arca Inc. filed a rule change proposal seeking SEC’S approval to offer five Direxion BTC ETFs. These products include:

  • Bitcoin Bear 1X Shares;
  • Bitcoin 1.25X Bull shares;
  • Bitcoin 1.5X Bull shares;
  • Bitcoin 2X Bull shares; and
  • Bitcoin 2X Bear shares

Direxion Asset Management LLC had earlier made plans to offer the five exchange-traded products on NYSE once the US regulatory body had given its approval.

A summary of the postponement notice was issued via the U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) and stated that:

“The Commission may extend the period for issuing an order approving or disapproving the proposed rule change, however, by not more than 60 days if the Commission determines that a longer period is appropriate and publishes the reasons for such determination.”

In postponing the decision, the SEC applied the above provision within the law. The law allows the SEC to arrive at a decision, either approving or disapproving the application, within 180 days of publishing an ETF filing notice.

In the case of Direxion, that should have been on July 23.  However, as seen above, the law gives the commission leeway to seek more time before they give their final decision.

That need for an extension was thus deemed necessary by the commission which has stated that:

“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. Accordingly, the Commission designates September 21, 2018, as the date by which the Commission shall either approve or disapprove the proposed rule change.”

It means a decision won’t go beyond the date indicated. In addition to the postponement, the SEC also revealed that it had received only two comments with regard to the proposed ETFs.

It is expected that any sort of approval from the SEC on Bitcoin ETFs will be a huge catalyst in the eventual spike in Bitcoin’s value.

In fact, the recent surge in BTC prices is attributed to the impending decision involving some of the ETF proposals at the SEC. The Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust rejection later triggered a selloff in the market. Interestingly, an SEC commissioner later explained in an open letter that she thoughts the Winklevoss ETF was wrongfully rejected.

The optimism in the industry also stems from the highly anticipated VanEck SolidX bitcoin ETF. The VanEck ETF is tailored to attract institutional investors, something that would see a lot of money come into crypto.

Their application is currently under discussion and has so far attracted over 100 comments from the public. A decision about the ETF can be made as early as next month.

Bitcoin ETFs are seen as potential investment vehicles that would track the top crypto coin’s value. It will also allow for trading during the normal operational hours of stock exchanges. It, therefore, would make investing in Bitcoin less fussy and more importantly less risky for investors from the mainstream end.

Bitwise applies for crypto ETF

Meanwhile, it’s emerging that another firm has filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission plans to launch another regulated cryptocurrency ETF. The filing by digital asset manager Bitwise was made public via a press release on July 24.

According to the publication, the Bitwise HOLD 10 Index is targeting 10 crypto assets, “a market-cap-weighted index of the 10 largest cryptocurrencies, rebalanced monthly”.

This new application is somewhat unique when compared to other ETF filings with the SEC. Unlike the Bitcoin-only ETFs, the Bitwise HOLD 10 is the only ETF that wants to track multiple cryptocurrencies. John Hyland, Global Head of Exchange-Traded Products expressed optimism about the crypto ETF saying:

“As best we know, all of these funds plan to offer exposure to a single coin such as bitcoin or ether. That is fine, but our proposed offering is obviously different.”

CNBC also quotes Bitwise Global Head of Research Matt Hougan as saying: “We’re joining the queue. The market is professionalizing in a direction that the SEC would allow a crypto ETF onto the market.”

It will take time before the SEC gives its decision on this latest ETF application. Who knows how the crypto landscape will have changed by then.

At the moment, all the crypto community can do is to keenly follow the unfolding events. The regulatory space has long been seen as what can either make or break the crypto industry and investors and token holders will surely fancy an approval from the SEC.

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