Bitcoin ETF ‘should launch in 2019’

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Bitcoin ETF 2019
Bitwise global head of Exchange-Traded Funds John Hyland

A new competitor has emerged in the race for Bitcoin ETF approval, and it’s confident of success in 2019.

Cryptocurrency asset manager Bitwise announced on January 10 that it’s filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for a new Bitcoin Exchange Traded Fund (ETF), which would be different from other proposals.

Point of difference

Bitwise says the proposed ETF differs because it will rely on regulated third party custodians to hold its physical Bitcoin, and the index draws prices from a large number of cryptocurrency exchanges.

Where will it list?

Bitwise says the ETF’s shares would list on the NYSE Arca, which will file a so-called “Rule 19b-4″ request with the SEC in the coming days.

The request is for necessary rule changes to allow its application to be approved and the ETF to list once the registration statement is declared effective by the SEC.

A Bitcoin ETF in 2019?

John Hyland, the Global Head of ETFs for Bitwise, believes a Bitcoin ETF “should” happen in 2019.

“While there can be no assurance that the 19b-4 application will be granted or the SEC will review and ultimately accelerate the registration statement, we are optimistic that 2019 should be the year that a Bitcoin ETF launches,” Mr Hyland, said.

Bitcoin ETF 2019
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“We believe the crypto trading ecosystem has evolved in significant ways in the past year.

“Having a regulated bank or trust company hold physical assets of a fund has been the standard under U.S. fund regulation for the last 80 years, and we believe that is now possible with Bitcoin.”

Will the Bitcoin ETF actually succeed in 2019?

Matt Hougan, the company’s Global Head of research, says the SEC is already giving ETFs close consideration.

“The SEC has asked thoughtful and relevant questions about the quality of the crypto trading ecosystem, the reliability of crypto pricing, the strength of the arbitrage function in crypto and the robustness of crypto custody,” Mr Hougan said.

“We have spent the past year researching these questions and look forward to discussing those findings with the SEC staff in connection with the filing and listing application. 

Bitcoin ETF 2019
A section of the form sent to the SEC by Bitwise.

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