SEC delays decision on VanEck bitcoin ETF

August 08, 2018
Chris Wheal

Bitcoin fell to its lowest price in nearly a month on Wednesday after the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) declared overnight it was to delay its decision on the listing of a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF).

SEC delays decision on the VanEck SolidX Bitcoin ETF until 30 September

Cryptocurrency investors had been expecting the SEC to make its decision on Friday on whether to allow the listing of the VanEck SolidX Bitcoin ETF on the Chicago Board of Exchange’s (CBOE) BZX Equities platform.

In an official document, however, the SEC said it would not be making a decision until 30 September.

No rule change yet

In former rulings the SEC has turned down applications for cryptocurrency ETF listings in the interest of investor protection due to its belief such securities are open to “fraudulent and manipulative practices”.

Any decision to allow cryptocurrency ETF listings would, therefore, mean a rule change to the SEC’s current regulations.

Winklevoss ETF

Indeed, late last month the SEC upheld its original February ruling in the case of a bitcoin ETF listing petition from the Bats Exchange on behalf of the Winklevoss twins, Cameron and Tyler.

Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss: the twins’ bitcoin-based ETF has been rejected by the SEC

Bats had argued that the landscape was changing since the SEC made its original rulings on bitcoin ETFs, saying the geographically diverse and 24-hour, seven day a week nature of crypto trading made it “difficult” and “prohibitively expensive” to manipulate the market, and that the crypto market was thus less susceptible to manipulation than other capital markets.

More time needed

The SEC said of its pending decision on the VanEck bitcoin ETF that it felt it needed more consideration.

The regulator had opened up the debate, requesting public opinion on the proposed listing and was reported to have received letters from more than 90 individuals.

“The Commission finds that it is appropriate to designate a longer period within which to take action on the proposed rule change so that it has sufficient time to consider the proposed rule change,” the regulator said in an official notice.

Bitcoin and its rival cryptocurrencies fell sharply following news of the delay. In early trade in London, bitcoin was down 6.2% to a near-month low of $6,548. A full price round-up will be published at 11am.

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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