Bitcoin ETFs Will Either Launch Or Die This October, SEC Confirms

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) must approve or disapprove at least two Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) this October.

2-Month Countdown To Bitcoin ETF Decision

In filings released August 12, the SEC chose to postpone final judgement on three ETFs it is currently considering.

The offerings, sponsored by VanEck/SolidX, Bitwise and Wilshire Phoenix, all came before the regulator earlier this year. 

“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,” a summary common to all three filings reads.

An ETF refers to a kind of financial instrument for institutional investors to gain exposure to the price of Bitcoin. So far, the SEC has refused to allow an ETF to market over various regulatory concerns, while officials have informally stated they would be open to a Bitcoin or even Ethereum-based product. 

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The process to get an ETF to market began back in March 2017, when the crypto industry saw its first rejection from the SEC. Since then, proposals have been withdrawn and reformulated several times, with VanEck/SolidX most recently filing again in February. 

According to the law, the SEC has a maximum of 240 days from the date of application to give a definitive answer as to whether it can legally operate in the US. 

As such, VanEck will find out if it will finally get its product around the regulator on October 18, while Bitwise will be notified five days earlier on October 13. 

Wilshire Phoenix, having applied later, will get its next update on whether the process will see a further delay at the end of September. 

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BTC ETF ‘Serves Public Interest’

Reacting to the news, Gabor Gurbacs, digital asset strategist and director at VanEck, appeared positive about the coming months. 

“A physical, liquid, insured Bitcoin ETF may serve the public interest. Onwards!” he wrote on Twitter. 

The ETF battle has gained its fair share of attention over its two-year history, with commentators generally of the opinion that a go-ahead would significantly increase Bitcoin’s profile. 

At the same time, others have voiced concerns, among them Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, who last year claimed the whole issue was a distraction within the wider sphere of cryptocurrency’s ascent to ubiquity. 

“I think there’s too much emphasis on BTC/ETH/whatever ETFs, and not enough emphasis on making it easier for people to buy $5 to $100 in cryptocurrency via cards at corner stores,” Bitcoinist quoted him as saying. 

“The former is better for pumping price, but the latter is much better for actual adoption.”

What do you think about the likelihood of a Bitcoin ETF gaining SEC approval? Let us know in the comments below!

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Images via Shutterstock

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Author: Anja van Oosterhout

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