The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has once again delayed the decision on the Bitwise ETF application.
In a new 52 pages-long filing, the SEC states that it is indeed scrutinizing the Bitwise’s ETF application, originally filed in February. However, it is not ready to make a decision and asks for external opinions. The commentators have to “provide written submissions of their views, data, and arguments with respect to the issues identified above, as well as any other concerns they may have with the proposal.”
This is the second time the SEC prolongs the reviewal period (the first delay took place in March). The Commission envisions a three-week public commenting period. First, however, the Federal Register will publish the latest amendments to the Bitwise ETF application.
A couple of years more?
It is hardly a secret that the SEC is scrupulous when it comes to ETF applications. And it is difficult to meet their not-so-clear demands. For example, last summer, the Commission rejected the Winklevoss brothers ETF application. In February, the SEC launched a new reviewal period for the VanEck/SolidX application, which had been withdrawn due to shut down and the SEC’s constant hesitation. The Commission has yet to produce its verdict.
That said, the future looks dim for Bitwise, which filed for an ETF under the condition that the SEC would review it within 45 days. Bitwise claims that it has a competitive advantage, i.e. that it draws prices from multiple cryptocurrency exchanges. This way, Bitwise wants to better represent the market. It also states that its BTC ETF would require “regulated third-party custodians to hold its physical bitcoin.”
“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,” its original filing reads.
However, none of this seems to convince the SEC. It may be indeed the case that it will take a couple of years for the Commission to finally give the green light to a BTC ETF.