VANECK BITCOIN ETF: What the SEC wants to know before it decides

SEC: No promoting without proper disclosure

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has once again delayed its decision on the VanEck Bitcoin ETF so that it can gather commentary on a number of issues.

In a new filing published Monday morning, the regulatory agency stated that it would be exercising its right to delay the decision by another 90 days in order to “[seek] and [encourage] interested persons to provide comments on the proposed rule change.”

The commission’s primary areas of concern regarding the VanEck Bitcoin ETF continue to center on market manipulation and what measures the exchange will take to protect its investors.

Commentary is being sought on 14 different issues – broken down into multiple queries each – including:

  1. the relationship between the Bitcoin futures and Bitcoin spot markets
  2. the trading relationship between the market for Bitcoin futures contracts and the proposed Trust
  3. the Trust’s proposal to value its bitcoin holdings based on an index – the MVBTCO – that is calculated through a proprietary, non-public methodology
  4. the Trust’s intention to not report over-the-counter (OTC) trades
  5. whether or not the volume of U.S. dollar trading of Bitcoin is an appropriate measure of Bitcoin market volume
  6. the Exchange’s claims that Bitcoin is less susceptible to manipulation than other commodities that underlie exchange-traded products (ETPs)
  7. the Trust’s proposed security, control, and insurance measures

Anyone wishing to comment on these and other issues has until June 10th to do so, with rebuttal comments due by June 24th.

Hopes dashed

Despite the delay of the Bitwise ETF decision last week, there were some in the crypto community who were hopeful that SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce’s planned keynote address at tomorrow’s ETFs Global Markets Roundtable in New York would herald positive news about the VanEck ETF.

Others, however, weren’t nearly as optimistic.

Attorney and prominent Crypto Twitter personality Jake Chervinsky cautioned, “This is no time for ETF hopium.”

He further noted that, in the event that the SEC didn’t delay its decision on the VanEck Bitcoin ETF, the most likely result would be rejection rather than approval.

The new deadline for the decision is August 19th, though Chervinsky notes that the SEC can choose to – and most likely will – delay one more time, making the final deadline for the decision October 18, 2019.

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