Bitwise files for crypto ETF as SEC delays decision on previous filings

July 25, 2018
Chris Wheal

Bitwise Asset Management, the San Francisco-based investment firm that launched the world’s first crypto-asset index fund, has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission for registration to offer a cryptocurrency exchange-traded fund (ETF).

SEC continues to mull whether to allow cryptocurrency ETFs to register

The fund manager announced on Medium late on Tuesday that it had filed a registration statement to launch the first publicly-offered ETF to be called the Bitwise HOLD 10 Cryptocurrency Index Fund, tracking a market-cap-weighted index of the top 10 cryptocurrencies.

It will use a five-year-diluted market capitalisation and “other eligibility criteria” to address challenges such as continuously changing supply, liquidity, trade volume concentration and custody limitations, the firm said.

SEC delays crypto-ETF decision

There have been other filings to offer ETFs based on cryptocurrencies, but the SEC continues to delay decisions on whether to approve the funds.

Indeed, the regulator said on Tuesday it was to hold off making a decision on five bitcoin-based ETFs, filed by Direxion, until September to give it “sufficient time to consider this proposed rule change”. The SEC opened up the debate on crypto-ETFs to the public last month and has since received a widely positive response.

Bitwise CFO John Hyland

Single coin offerings

“Other investment firms have filed for cryptocurrency ETFs,” said John Hyland, head of exchange-traded products at Bitwise.

“As best we know, all of these funds plan to offer exposure to a single coin such as bitcoin or ether, but our proposed offering is obviously different.

“The current crypto ETF filings have generated a great deal of discussion and analysis within the SEC about this emerging asset class, and the SEC and its staff, to their credit, have asked for public comment on a wide range of issues relating to these products.

“We expect the staff of the SEC has had ongoing discussions with the investment firms making the crypto filings to date, and we look forward to having our own discussions with the SEC about the nature of our proposed offering.”

Post written by Chris Wheal
Chris Wheal is editor of OpenLedger's news and features service. An award-wining business journalists himself, he runs a team of freelance journalists from across the UK and north America.

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