The concept of the Bitcoin ETF has been mulling around the minds of investors and the SEC over the last year, with multiple companies submitting their proposals to make it happen.
VanEck even got close but pulled their application at the last minute as the government shutdown made them apprehensive in their former certainty of approval.
However, a commissioner for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) believes that the approval will come for some Bitcoin ETF in the future. Speaking with government-centered news source Roll Call this week, commissioner Robert J. Jackson Jr. said,
“Eventually, do I think someone will satisfy the standards that we’ve laid out there? I hope so, yes, and I think so.”
Chairman of the SEC, Jay Clayton, has not been quite as optimistic, considering the needs to eliminate market manipulation in the crypto industry. At the very least, the topic needs to be addressed, though no one has come up with a solution.
In some reports, VanEck has suggested that the upcoming changes to their former application, which they plan to refile, will tackle the concerns.
Thus far, a minimum of 10 proposals have already been rejected for a Bitcoin ETF. In fact, ProShares, Direxion, and GraniteShares were among the seven filings that the SEC rejected last August. However, the next day, the regulator decided that they would take the time to review these filings instead.
A month prior, the SEC issued their second rejection to the Winklevoss’ proposal, which aimed to use the Bats BZX Exchange to list the Bitcoin ETF.
Of the proposal from the Winklevoss brothers, Jackson explained that it was “not a difficult case,” though there was an “enormous” risk of causing more damage to investors than good. The market, when it comes down to the small details, has a “very serious” liquidity problem.
Elaborating, Jackson said, “I’m happy to say market participants have begun to come in with ideas. Whether or not we’re going to find one that really protects investors I don’t know, but I do know that that [Winklevoss] case wasn’t especially close.”
According to Yusuf Hussain, who works for a firm that is working with the Winklevoss twins to make this Bitcoin ETF happen has another take on the circumstances. Hussain said,
“We are committed to the ETF process and understand the commission’s concerns and the need for more marketplace surveillance and protection to prevent against manipulative behavior. We have also helped to form the Virtual Commodity Association to provide a mechanism for exchanges in the crypto industry to share information to help build marketplace integrity.”
With these statements and others, Jackson is keeping hope. Still, the protection of the people is the most important priority to keep in mind as companies seek approval. He said,
“Getting the stamp of approval from the deepest and most liquid capital markets in the world is hard, and it should be. Once we put the stamp of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission on an investment, once we make it available to everyday mom and pop investors, we are taking risks that Americans can get hurt.”
Hester Pierce, another commissioner of the SEC, sees to be more practical about what a Bitcoin ETF would entail and require. Peirce said that the new rule change that the Winklevoss twins suggested
“satisfies the statutory standard and that we should permit BZX to list and trade this bitcoin-based exchange-traded product (‘ETP’).”
Peirce spoke to CoinDesk soon after these comments, stating, “From my perspective, we need to be mindful of what our role is, and it’s not to be the ones who decide which innovations and which technologies get through and which ones don’t.”
In a tweet today, Peirce expressed her interest in working alongside Jackson in their collective efforts “to open the doors to innovation.” With these statements in mind, it is clear that the rejections that continue to plague platforms haven’t made anyone more discouraged in getting the approval desired. Bitwise Asset Management, for example, is aiming to launch their own bitcoin EFT.
Along with VanEck, Cboe also withdrew their proposal during the government shutdown, but for their rule change. If it was approved, it would have made it possible for the VanEck application to be easily processed. Even though it was withdrawn, the company refiled the request a few days later.
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