SEC Struggles To Decide On ETF, Seeks Public Opinion

Meeting O. Progress || MAY 15, 2019

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is still struggling to make decision on cryptocurrency index fund provider Bitwise Asset Management’s bitcoin (BTC) exchange traded fund (ETF).

According to the filing published by the SEC on May 14th 2019, the SEC disclosed that it has delayed its decision on whether to approve or disapprove Bitwise’s ETF, and also requested for a public comment from interested parties. The Commission however asked interested persons to “provide written submissions of their views, data, and arguments in respect to the issues identified above, as well as other concerns they may have with their proposal.”

In February 2019 Bitwise filed for an ETF with a hoping condition that the SEC would reach a decision in 45 days. Although their proposal of bitcoin ETF was reported to be different from other previous proposals of bitcoin ETFs which have its price tracking from different cryptocurrency exchanges, aiming to represent the market better.

Bitwise clearly states that its bitcoin ETF would require “regulated third-party custodians to hold its physical bitcoin.” in their filing

“Having a regulated bank or trust company hold physical assets of a fund has been the standard under U.S. fund regulation for the last 80 years, and we believe that is now possible with Bitcoin,” it says.

Previously the SEC delayed its decision on the Bitwise ETF application in March. In that decision, the SEC was supposed to come to a conclusion on whether to approve the rule change by May 16, 2019.

As for this latest filing, the public comment period will last three weeks after the most recent amendments to the Bitwise ETF application are published in the Federal Register, followed by two weeks for responses.

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