Since the turn of 2019, the SEC has been prominently involved in the sphere of cryptocurrencies with certain institutions reaching out for Bitcoin ETF approvals. To add to this, the recent remarks made by former SEC Commissioner Robert Jackson Jr, that it was only a matter of time before a Bitcoin ETF gets approval, has stirred a lot of attention towards the independent US government federal agency.
According to reports, the US Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC] have initiated the process of considering a rule change for listing the Bitcoin ETF proposal submitted by Bitwise Asset Management and NYSE Arca on February 11.
The proposal itself was published in the Federal Register on 15 February, which leaves the authorized personnel with 45 days to make the initial decision to approve, reject or further extend the proposal, even though the SEC will, in total, have a duration of 240 days to make the final decision on whether to approve or disapprove the proposal.
The Bitcoin ETF application was first put forward by Bitwise Asset Management in January 2019, but it could not get published in the Federal Register due to the US government shutdown. However, there has been a new turn of events now, as the proposal is now under review by the SEC.
According to the initial registration statement, the ETF would track the Bitwise Bitcoin Total Return Index, which takes the value of Bitcoin and any meaningful hard forks into account.
Moreover, what’s unique about Bitwise’s Bitcoin ETF is that the company wants its fund to be supported with spot prices from exchanges and physically settled futures contracts. This is different from any other BTC ETF that was proposed before, as previous ETFs were supported with cash-settled contracts.
According to the initial formal statement, the Bitwise ETF would track the Bitcoin Total Return Index, which will take the value of Bitcoin, and further significant hard forks into consideration.
Moreover, the company’s BTC ETF would want their fund to be supported with spot prices from exchanges and physically settle future contracts. This sets the company’s ETF apart from the earlier BTC ETFs that were put forward and supported with cash-settled contracts.
Bitwise’s global head of Exchange-Traded Funds, John Hyland, painted an optimistic image and seemed hopeful that the SEC will approve their Bitcoin ETF.
“While there can be no assurance that the 19b-4 application will be granted or the SEC will review and ultimately accelerate the registration statement, we are optimistic that 2019 should be the year that a bitcoin ETF launches.”
The SEC has in the past turned down its approval for several Bitcoin ETF proposals. However, since SEC Commissioner Robert Jackson Jr’s statement, Hester Peirce, another commissioner at the SEC has come forward and offered optimism about the eventual approval of a Bitcoin ETF.
The news around Bitcoin ETFs have invited a lot of attention from crypto enthusiasts around the world who hope that a successful ETF will lead to an event which will help take the virtual currency out from the current bearish trend.
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