SEC again postpones long-awaited decision on a bitcoin ETF
The SEC is again delaying a decision on approving a bitcoin ETF, disappointing virtual-currency fans who have been speculating that the regulator would soon green-light the proposal by CBOE Global Markets.
The SEC on Monday asked for additional comments on a plan by CBOE to list an ETF from VanEck Associates and SolidX Partners, according to a statement. Bitcoin kept its gains after the announcement, rising about 10% at 4:07 p.m. in New York.
The SEC, wary of bringing crypto to the masses, postponed a decision last week from VanEck and SolidX and rejected a proposal from the Winklevoss twins.
The SEC called into question the ability of the cryptocurrency’s exchanges to sufficiently police trading.
Part of the problem stems from how slow regulators have been to define their views of virtual currencies.
The delay does not “indicate that the commission has reached any conclusions with respect to any of the issues involved,” the regulator said. A CBOE representative declined requests for comment.
“It’s not a big surprise that the SEC is putting off this decision,” said Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Eric Balchunas. “But given that their issues are with the underlying bitcoin market, not sure why they just don’t deny it as opposed to stringing along the crypto faithful with false hope.”
The SEC previously postponed making a decision on the fund and rejected an exchange’s request last year to list a bitcoin ETF backed by Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss.
The agency has also urged issuers to address a wide array of risks associated with a potential crypto fund, including manipulation, sufficient liquidity and custody.
Speculation had swirled on the Internet in the days leading up to an ETF conference that commissioner Hester Peirce’s appearance at the event was a signal that approval was nigh. The hype helped fuel a rally in bitcoin on Monday that saw the largest digital asset soar as much as 17%. The wagers had gained traction because Peirce, who has been the most avid proponent of digital assets among her peers, had previously come out in favor of approving a fund.