Against a backdrop of cautious optimism regarding Bitcoin’s regulatory future, the SEC continues to balk at the notion of a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). At the end of July, the SEC rejected a bid by the Winklevoss twins to launch the first Bitcoin ETF, in what was seen as a major blow to the concept. However, that ruling hasn’t deterred others from continuing to pursue their own plans.
CBOE Takes Aim
CBOE Global Markets Inc., a Chicago-based exchange, remain confident that it is only a matter of time before the SEC sees the light and approves the necessary regulatory change to allow for the creation of a Bitcoin ETF.
According to Chris Concannon, CBOE’s president and COO,
“As we chip away at their issues to make them less concerned, at some point they’ll be comfortable with an ETF.”
In Concannon’s view, the creation of the first crypto-backed ETF will open the floodgates, leading to a plethora of similar funds within a short space of time.
Last year, on Dec. 10, 2017, the CBOE was first in line with implementing Bitcoin futures on their exchange which marked a major development along Bitcoin’s mainstream trajectory. It would only seem fair that a Bitcoin ETF might rear its head on the Chicago based exchange before anywhere else.
Concannon’s confidence probably has something to do with CBOE’s plans to list the VanEck SolidX Bitcoin ETF, currently regarded as being the most likely effort to attain regulatory approval.
In a lengthy letter to the SEC, VanEck reiterated the industry-wide support for their proposed fund and outlined how they could overcome many of the SEC’s current reservations. In particular, the VanEck SolidX fund proposes to back up the fund with physical Bitcoin, as opposed to tracking the cryptocurrency through the futures market.
As reported by Hacked, the SEC has deferred ruling on the proposal until the end of September, giving it more time to consider the matter and helping to trigger a correction in the price of Bitcoin.
Despite the optimism of Concannon and others, it seems unlikely that we will see a Bitcoin ETF approved this year. However, according to Hacked, a former SEC employee who is familiar with the agency’s Bitcoin deliberations had this to say:
“…it is going to get approved but we are going to make the markets understand that we dug really, really deep i.e. investor protection/transparency…”
It might be just a matter of time.