The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) seems to be struggling to make its mind up about Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETF). The agency has once again extended the review period for the VanEck Bitcoin ETF application by 45 days.
This is the second time the SEC is delaying its decision on the VanEck Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) application. The regulator first extended its decision in April 2021.
SEC To Accept Comments On The VanEck Bitcoin ETF Application
According to the order filed on Wednesday, the SEC said it would now accept public input on the proposed rule change surrounding the VanEck Bitcoin ETF. This would help guide its decision on whether to approve the fund or not.
The regulator asked the public for comments on the vulnerability of the ETF to market manipulation and if Bitcoin is suitable as an underlying asset for an ETF.
The commission also wants to know commenters’ views on whether the regulatory landscape relating to Bitcoin and other digital assets has changed since 2016.
The regulatory answer to that question could have deep implications for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies like Ethereum, which is also yet to get approval to be used in exchange-traded funds.
Interested people who wish to comment on the proposed Bitcoin ETF have until 21 days after the order is published in the Federal Register and 35 days after publication in the same register for rebuttals.
VanEck had filed for the Bitcoin ETF in December 2020. In March, the Chicago Board Options exchange (Cboe) pleaded for VanEck when it filed a request to list and trade shares of the VanEck Bitcoin fund, thereby putting the SEC on the 45-day clock.
The SEC’s 45-days window, which started in April 2021, was expected to end on June 17, 2021. The latest extension means we don’t know the fate of the VanEck Bitcoin ETF until August 3, 2021.
The SEC typically renders a decision on future applications within 45-day windows but can also take up to 240 days to decide.
The US Continuous Delay In Approving A Bitcoin ETF
Despite the change in leadership at the SEC, the agency has so far shown no sign of approving any Bitcoin ETF anytime soon.
The agency has often cited fraud and market manipulation as obstacles to its approval, but applicants have made arguments as to why those issues are blown out of proportion.
Apart from VanEck, there have been at least seven other applications of firms seeking to launch competing funds but none has been approved.
Given the SEC’s continued delay in approving the ETFs of firms like VanEck, WisdomTree, Kryptoin, and Fidelity Investments, many do not expect approval soon.
However, Canada remains one of the most progressive countries in terms of ETFs. Over the past few months, the North American nation has approved both Bitcoin and Ether ETFs.