The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has, for the second time, pushed forward the data upon which it will issue a decision on the VanEck/SolidX Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF).
As per an SEC notice published on December 6, 2018, the new deadline for the approval or disapproval of the much-anticipated ETF product is now set to February 27, 2019.
Although devastating to many, the decision was anticipated by many experts. It is important to note, however, that the SEC must render a decision in February and will not be able to postpone its decision any further.
According to the notice, the securities regulator explains that extending the “period within which to issue an order approving or disapproving the proposed rule change” is appropriate as it gives the commission sufficient time within which to make its considerations.
The proposed rule change that seeks to have the VanEck/SolidX Bitcoin ETF shares listed and traded the CBOE BZX Exchange was first filed on June 20, 2018.
A fortnight or so later, on July 2, 2018, the agency published the proposal in the Federal Register for the public to give their comments.
The original deadline for the Commission to have delivered its decision was December 29, 2018. However, the Securities Act allows the agency to extend the time by a further 60 days, which pushes the deadline to February, 240 days after regulator notified the public.
The SEC notes that it has received over 1,600 comments on the VanEck ETF proposal.
Gabor Gurbac, VanEck’s director of Digital Assets Strategy, tweeted that the firm “expected” the delay but that there is “lots of good market structure improvements in the markets on pricing, custody, and surveillance.”
Despite the delay and the resultant disappointment, Gurbac says that “America still wants a Bitcoin ETF.”
SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce, who has previously expressed disagreement with the SEC over the agencies decisions on the matter, cautioned against having too much expectation regarding the approval of a crypto ETF.
Speaking at the Digital Asset Investment Forum held in Washington DC a day before the SEC’s notice, the commissioner asked the audience not to hold their breath over the ETF, adding that “it could come tomorrow [yesterday December 6] or in 20 years.”
“I do caution people not to live or die on when a crypto or bitcoin ETF gets approved.”
The VanEck-SolidX Bitcoin ETF has attracted a lot of interest within the crypto community because it is essentially different from all the other Bitcoin ETFs before the securities regulator.
Unlike the other bitcoin ETFs, the VanEck ETF is physically-settled, allowing investors to hold actual bitcoin.
The SEC has thus far not approved any of the bitcoin exchange-traded funds before it, including its August rejection of nine ETF applications from three firms.
At the time, the Commission said that the applicants did not comprehensively demonstrate that they had taken measures to protect consumers against potential fraud and market manipulation.
Last week, a VanEck/SolidX team together with representatives from CBOE met with the SEC, a meeting the crypto teams used to assess why the SEC should approve the ETF.
The meltdown in the cryptocurrency market continued on the back of the SEC news, with Bitcoin (BTC) plunging over 9.7 percent to trade at $3,454 at press time.
Disclaimer: This is not investment advice. Cryptocurrencies are highly volatile assets and are very risky investments. Do your research and consult an investment professional before investing. Never invest more than you can afford to lose. Never borrow money to invest in cryptocurrencies.