It is Bitcoin ETF decision season once again for America’s securities regulator amid a changing of the guard at the commission.
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission now has 45 days to deliver an initial decision on the VanEck Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund filing having officially published the company’s submission on its website on March 15.
Now, the SEC has to approve, decline or extend the review period for the Bitcoin ETF filing within the 45-day window. The SEC can extend the deliberation window up to 249 days before delivering a final decision. The public also has a three-week period to submit comments on the SEC website.
As previously reported by Cointelegraph, the Chicago Board Options Exchange, or CBOE, filed to list the VanEck Bitcoin ETF back in January. VanEck was one of the BTC ETF hopefuls back in 2017 when several companies were looking to gain SEC approval for a Bitcoin ETF.
At the time, the asset management outfit partnered with blockchain startup SolidX to file a joint Bitcoin ETF. However, the VanEck/SolidX BTC ETF was withdrawn before the SEC delivered a decision on the filing.
Back in January, SolidX filed a lawsuit against VanEck, accusing the latter of plagiarizing its Bitcoin ETF. According to the details of the complaint, SolidX said VanEck acted in bad faith by going ahead to file a Bitcoin ETF based on its work.
With the change in leadership at the commission following Jay Clayton’s departure back in December 2020, firms in the U.S. are trying once again for a Bitcoin ETF. Clayton’s SEC tenure saw the commission reject nine Bitcoin ETFs.
The unregulated nature of the Bitcoin spot market was a popular refrain attached to each rejection. During the period, the SEC routinely pointed to this issue as a cause for concern stating that price manipulation was not difficult to achieve, hence a BTC ETF approval was off the table.
Earlier in March, New York-based asset management firm WisdonTree submitted a Bitcoin ETF filing with the SEC. Meanwhile, some market commentators say BTC ETF approvals in Canada may spur the commission to reconsider its previous reticence.
Indeed, the month of February saw Canadian securities regulators approve a couple of Bitcoin ETFs, becoming the first of such investment products in North America. Following the initial success of these ETFs, some firms are now looking to expand their catalog by launching Ether (ETH) ETFs.