Bitcoin ETF decisions delayed again by U.S. SEC

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The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is once again delaying its decision on three Bitcoin ETFs until later this year.

The SEC has released new documents that show the regulatory body is postponing a decision on proposed rule changes for BTC ETFs submitted by Cboe BZX Exchange and NYSE Arca.

Denied again

The three Bitcoin ETFs impacted by this lack of decision are VanEck SolidX Bitcoin Trust, Bitwise Bitcoin ETF Trust, and United States Bitcoin and Treasury Investment Trust.

This latest decision – or lack thereof – by the SEC is yet another dagger in the heart of cryptocurrency advocates, who had been hoping that approval would finally be granted.

“The Commission finds it appropriate to designate a longer period within which to issue an order approving or disapproving the proposed rule change so that it has sufficient time to consider this proposed rule change,” states the SEC in regards to delaying its approval.

SEC delays Bitcoin ETF decision again.

This marks the third postponement for the VanEck and Bitwise ETFs as the SEC had first issued a postponement back in March, which was followed by a second one in May.

The new deadlines are September 29th for the United States Bitcoin and Treasury Investment Trust, October 13th for the Bitwise Bitcoin ETF Trust, and October 18th for the VanEck SolidX Bitcoin Trust.

Of course, the SEC could once again postpone any final decision upon the dates listed above and continue to kick the crypto can down the road yet again.

SEC not ‘comfortable’ yet

SEC Chairman Jay Clayton has publicly stated that he and the agency are not fully comfortable with the current level of protection offered by Bitcoin ETFs, especially in regards to custody and market manipulation.

“We’re engaging on this, but there are a couple of things about it that we need to feel comfortable with. The first is custody: custody is a long-standing requirement in our markets, and if you say you have something you really have it,” he said in a CNBC interview on June 6th.

“The other thing that is important is […] we have sophisticated rules and surveillance to ensure that people are not manipulating the stock market, those cryptocurrency markets by large do not have that; And we’re working hard to see if we can get there, but I’m not just going to flip a switch and say this is just like stocks and bonds, because it’s not,” he added.

One notable dissenting voice in the SEC is Commissioner Hester Peirce, fondly referred to by many in the community as Crypto Mom.

Hester Peirce
SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce.

Last year, she filed a dissenting opinion in regards to a rejection against a BTC ETF submitted by the Winklevoss twins.

“If we were to approve the ETP at issue here, investors could choose whether to buy it or avoid it. The Commission’s action today deprives investors of this choice,” she wrote in her dissent.

“I reject the role of gatekeeper of innovation—a role very different from (and, indeed, inconsistent with) our mission of protecting investors, fostering capital formation, and facilitating fair, orderly, and efficient markets,” she added.

Back in June, she said “Don’t hold your breath” when it comes to the SEC approving a Bitcoin ETF, although she says that if she had her way, “We would have already had one and maybe we would have had more.”

The price of Bitcoin has dropped somewhat on today’s news. BTC had reached as high as US$11,523 on Sunday but dropped down to a low of $11,329 today. It is currently trading at $11,391.