• The Securities & Exchange Commission has made a filing confirming that the decision on VanEck Bitcoin ETF will be delayed.
  • Currently, Grayscale Bitcoin Trust holds most of the shares in institutional investment in the cryptocurrency-related product.
  • Approval of the Bitcoin ETF would provide a more stable alternative to GBTC, providing a gateway for institutional money flow into the market. 

The Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) has decided to extend its decision on VanEck and the Chicago Board Options Exchange’s (CBOE) application to list a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). 

SEC to make a decision in June

VanEck filed the latest application for a Bitcoin ETF in December 2020. The SEC started the 45-day clock when CBOE filed to list the product. According to the securities regulator, it will extend the decision window by another 45 days.

The SEC now has the deadline of June 17 to make a decision. However, this decision window could be extended to 240 days in total. The official filing stated:

The Commission finds that it is appropriate to designate a longer period within which to take action on the proposed rule change so that it has sufficient time to consider the proposed rule change and the comments received.

VanEck has tried to get filings approved in the past. However, no Bitcoin ETFs have been approved by the SEC in the United States so far. The global investment manager’s current proposal joins one of the nine active filings for a Bitcoin ETF, including Kryptoin Investment Advisors, Galaxy Digital, Fidelity and Wisdom Tree. 

Despite a delay in deciding to be made in the United States, Bitcoin ETFs were recently approved in Canada. 

Grayscale currently dominates the institutional funds invested indirectly into cryptocurrencies with its Bitcoin Trust (GBTC). The asset management firm’s trust enables investors to be able to have indirect exposure to Bitcoin. Without holding BTC directly, institutions could still have access to the digital asset’s volatility without holding the currency in a wallet. 

The approval of a Bitcoin ETF in the United States could provide a more stable alternative to GBTC. Since exchange-traded funds are regulated traditional financial products, they would be made largely available on trading platforms, attracting large amounts of institutional money flow. 

Grayscale’s fund dominance has been in decline since the approval of multiple crypto-related ETFs in Canada. The firm announced that it is committed to converting its Bitcoin trust into an ETF.

Investors remain optimistic that with Gary Gensler leading the SEC, the United States would eventually see a Bitcoin ETF approved this year. 

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