The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has once again postponed its decision on Bitwise Asset Management’s proposal for a Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF).
The SEC revealed this delay in a notice published on the agency’s website on May 14.
The move means that the regulator has pushed the decision to a later date, and neither approves or disapproves the Bitwise bitcoin ETF. At the same time, the filing includes the SEC’s request seeking further public participation via comments.
The securities regulator has therefore asked interested parties to “provide written submissions” with respect to issues related to the ETF as well as on any other concerns raised. The public comments will be in the form of views, data, or arguments touching on the proposal.
Bitwise filed its ETF proposal earlier this year and the SEC was expected to give a decision in March. However, the Commission announced it would delay that decision, meaning it would have to arrive at one within the next 45 days- by May 16.
Bitwise has said that its bitcoin ETF is different from the other proposals as its pricing involves collating various prices from a number of top cryptocurrency exchanges. The fund manager believes that the approach gives it an edge as it allows for a much better representation of the market.
The initial application by the company stated that its exchange-traded-fund would involve physically-held bitcoins. The proposal stated that the bitcoin would be held by “regulated third-party custodians.”
The filing stated that the use of regulated banks or trust companies “to hold physical assets of a fund” had become standard practice in the United States for almost a century. As such, the same could apply to bitcoin the firm noted in its filing.
The SEC has set the timeline for the next review of the Bitwise ETF, with the submission of public comments expected to last three weeks once the agency publishes the latest amendments to fund application in the Federal Register.
In December 2018, SEC commissioner Hester Peirce noted that it was certainly “possible” to have a bitcoin ETF approved, though that was likely going to take much longer- even years.
Peirce is fondly referred to as “Crypto Mom” within crypto circles after she openly disagreed with the SEC’s decision to throw out a proposal for a bitcoin ETF filed by the Winklevoss twins Cameron and Tyler.
The regulator’s postponement of a decision on the ETF means that the crypto community will continue its wait for one to be approved.
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.