Cryptocurrency ETF Applications Move Closer to Approval
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is one step closer to approving Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) applications from several firms, as the Federal Register has now published the notices of proposed rule changes. BlackRock, Fidelity, Invesco Galaxy, VanEck and WisdomTree are the firms that have submitted applications for the Bitcoin ETF.
The publication of the applications in the official journal of the U.S. government gives the SEC a window of opportunity to accept or reject the request, extend the time allowed or open the application for public comment. Following the initial filing of the applications in June, the SEC requested the firms to name a crypto firm, such as Coinbase, as a surveillance-sharing partner.
The five applications followed one from Bitwise, which was published in the register on July 18. Valkyrie is expected to submit its own spot BTC ETF application on July 21. The SEC has an initial window of 45 days — until early August — to reach a decision, but the commission can extend the process for up to 240 days —until March 2024 — for final approval or denial.
To date, the SEC has not approved a spot investment vehicle with direct exposure to cryptocurrencies like BTC, but began allowing ETFs linked to BTC futures starting in 2021. In June, the Volatility Shares Trust launched the first leveraged Bitcoin futures ETF of its kind in the United States.
With the federal court ruling suggesting the XRP (XRP) token was not a security and Chair Gary Gensler’s continued policy of regulation by enforcement action, the SEC has come under scrutiny from various regulators, lawmakers and members of the public. In 2023, both Binance and Coinbase, among other crypto platforms, faced lawsuits from the SEC.
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