The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has postponed its decision on the Direxion Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) filing until September 2018. The SEC is yet to approve any of the Bitcoin ETF applications it has received despite the sustained clamor from various stakeholders.
SEC DELAYS BITCOIN ETF DECISION UNTIL SEPTEMBER
Arca Inc., submitted a rule change filing to the SEC in January 2018 seeking approval to list and trade shares of five Direxion BTC ETFs. Direxion Asset Management LLC announced plans to list their Bitcoin ETFs on Intercontinental Exchange Inc’s NYSE Arca pending the approval of the SEC.
News of the postponement was contained in a U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) post released on today (July 24, 2018). According to the post:
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.
THE JUSTIFICATION FOR THE DELAY
The SEC is mandated by law to issue a decision no later than 180 days after it publishes the ETF filing notice which in this case was on January 24, 2018. Thus, the Commission should have given its approval or disapproval on or before July 23, 2018. However, there is a provision in the rule book which states that:
The Commission may extend the period for issuing an order approving or disapproving the proposed rule change, however, by not more than 60 days if the Commission determines that a longer period is appropriate and publishes the reasons for such determination.
Thus, the SEC has fixed September 21, 2018 (60 days from July 23, 2018) as the new date when it would approve or reject the Bitcoin ETF filing. According to the SEC, only two comments had been by Commission concerning the ETF filing.
VANECK MAKES A CASE FOR BITCOIN ETFS
While the SEC continues to remain reticent on approving BTC ETFs, investment management firm, VanEck, continues to make a case for their approval. In a recent letter to the Commission, the company responded to questions posed by the SEC about BTC ETFs. VanEck in collaboration with Solid X has a pending BTC ETF filing with the SEC.