The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has requested further comments from the public to help it decide whether it should approve a Bitcoin ETF proposal by fund manager VanEck and crypto start-up SolidX.
The regulator yesterday issued an order “instituting proceedings to determine whether to approve or disapprove a proposed rule change” that, if approved, would allow a Bitcoin ETF to be listed on the Cboe BZX Exchange. The proposal was initially filed in June and since then the SEC has received over 1,400 on the matter. However, the watchdog indicated yesterday that it need more input from the public.
“Institution of such proceedings is appropriate at this time in view of the legal and policy issues raised by the proposed rule change,” SEC secretary Brent Fields wrote, as quoted by Coindesk. “Institution of proceedings does not indicate that the Commission has reached any conclusions with respect to any of the issues involved. Rather, as described below, the Commission seeks and encourages interested persons to provide comments on the proposed rule change.”
The SEC has already delayed its decision once, with the new deadline now being September 30. The commission can choose to delay the decision again, although it has to come up with a ruling by early March, 2019.
Listing a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund on a regulated platform is widely expected to be the next big catalyst for a new cryptocurrency rally. While the SEC has so far rejected multiple Bitcoin ETF proposals, it has firmly maintained that its rejections do not “rest on an evaluation of whether bitcoin, or blockchain technology more generally, has utility or value as an innovation or an investment”. Last month, the watchdog rejected nine proposals for BTC ETF from firms ProShares, Direxion and GraniteShares. However, the commission later stayed the rejection orders, deciding that the proposals warrant further reviews.