SEC postpones decision on Bitcoin ETF applications

  • SEC postponed their decision on the two Bitcoin ETF applications they had received to have “sufficient time to consider the proposed rule change.”
  • The Bitwise and NYSE Arca proposal will be reconsidered on May 16, 2019, while the VanEck/SolidX proposal will be reviewed on May 21, 2019.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) delayed their initial decisions on the two bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) proposals they had received earlier this year. The first proposal was filed by Bitwise Asset Management with NYSE Arca and the second by VanEck and SolidX, in partnership with Cboe BZX Exchange.

The Bitwise/NYSE Arca ETF proposal was published on February 15, which kickstarted a 45-day cycle for the initial decision. This postponement kicked off another 45 days within which SEC has to consider the proposal. Overall the SEC has 240 days to approve or reject any ETF proposal.

The SEC announced the following regarding their decision to delay:

“The Commission finds it 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. Accordingly, the Commission, pursuant to Section 19(b)(2) of the Act,6 designates May 16, 2019 as the date by which the Commission shall either approve or disapprove, or institute proceedings to determine whether to disapprove, the proposed rule change (File No. SRNYSEArca-2019-01).”

The VanEck/SolidX proposal was initially filed nearly a year ago but was withdrawn in January following the U.S. government shutdown. They resubmitted the proposal in late January which was published in the Federal Register on Feb. 20. The SEC decided to postpone this decision as well which designates May 21 as the date on which they would have to decide on this proposal.

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