SEC delays determination on approving bitcoin ETF

The Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday delayed its determination on approving the VanEck Bitcoin ETF till June because the regulator’s new chief begins to overview high-profile asset functions.

The SEC sometimes takes 45 days from when an utility is filed to render a call on whether or not such a safety must be allowed to commerce. The 45-day window for the VanEck Bitcoin ETF ends May 3, however the SEC is extending the deadline.

“The Commission finds that it is appropriate to designate a longer period within which to take action on the proposed rule change so that it has sufficient time to consider the proposed rule change and the comments received,” J. Matthew DeLesDernier, assistant secretary on the SEC, mentioned in a submitting.

While bitcoin ETFs exist within the U.S., they don’t instantly personal the cryptocurrency. They personal portfolios of shares deemed to have publicity to blockchain expertise. Some bitcoin watchers imagine 2021 may lastly be the yr a bitcoin ETF is authorized because of the Senate’s affirmation of Gary Gensler to guide Wall Street’s high regulator.

Gensler, authorized by the Senate earlier this month to guide the SEC, is taken into account an professional on cryptocurrency and has taught programs on digital currencies and blockchain on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Questioned in March on how the SEC ought to regulate bitcoin and different digital belongings, Gensler instructed lawmakers that the accountability may fall throughout the federal government relying on how belongings resembling bitcoin are categorised.

In the previous, the SEC mentioned it was fearful about excessive worth volatility and fraud in cryptocurrencies. It additionally famous that 75% of bitcoin buying and selling happens abroad on unregulated overseas exchanges that might be manipulated.

The worth of bitcoin and different digital belongings has soared in 2021 as an growing variety of funding managers and banks develop comfy contemplating it as each a possible funding alternative and a medium of change.

Though the world’s largest digital asset has struggled in current weeks, its current price round $54,400 is way above the place it traded one yr in the past below $10,000, in keeping with Coin Metrics.

Following VanEck, Fidelity in March disclosed in a authorities submitting that it’s working to launch its own bitcoin ETF.

— With reporting from CNBC’s Bob Pisani.

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