SEC ETF decision delayed (again)

The cryptocurrency community has been - somewhat patiently - waiting for the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to decide on the fate of a new crypto product for about the past six months.  After initially indicating that it would offer its take on the VanEck Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETC) in August and then postponing that decision until September or October, the SEC is now saying that it needs additional time.  Without stating an actual deadline for its ruling, we know that it has to release its decision by the end of February of next year. 

According to the Securities and Exchange Act, the SEC is required to hand down its decision on rule change requests within 180 days from the time they are published by the commission.  If needed, they can take an additional 60 days, but no more.  Since the VanEck BTC ETF was initially published on July 2, the SEC must decide its fate by February 27.

The ETF, which VanEck is looking to introduce to the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) through a collaboration with blockchain firm SolidX, is expected to set in motion a substantial increase in the institutional investment sector.  The SEC said of its latest delay, “The Commission finds it appropriate to designate a longer period within which to issue an order approving or disapproving the proposed rule change so that it has sufficient time to consider this proposed rule change.”

The February deadline doesn't mean that the commission is going to side with VanEck and allow the ETF to move forward.  Even SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce, who has been a supporter of cryptocurrencies and once stated that the SEC is abusing its power on the subject, recently stated that an ETF might be approved tomorrow, or it might be approved in 20 years.  She added, “Don’t hold your breath."

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