US watchdog rejects latest proposal for Bitcoin ETF listing

By Yana Berman

SEC decision dashes hopes of crypto breakthrough

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has again rejected proposals to list a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF).

The US financial watchdog announced that the ETF filing, initially proposed by crypto investment platform Bitwise Asset Management in collaboration with the US all-electronic exchange NYSE Arca, did not meet the necessary requirements.

In particular, the SEC said the application failed to meet strict guidelines on preventing market manipulation and other fraudulent activities.

The application was initially filed by Bitwise and NYSE Arca in January, 2019 and the SEC has postponed its decision since then.

Two similar applications have been filed by VanEck / SolidX and Wilshire Phoenix / NYSE Arca. VanEck and SolidX withdrew their paper amid regulatory uncertainty and the decision on Wilshire Phoenix’s proposal is still unknown.

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A few days ago, on October 7, Matt Hougan, managing director and global head of research at Bitwise was upbeat about the prospects of a Bitcoin ETF. “We’re closer than we’ve ever been before to getting a Bitcoin ETF approved,” he said.

The SEC’s stance on Bitcoin ETF has proved controversial. The SEC commissioner Hester Peirce, who was dubbed “Crypto Mom” for her enthusiasm towards digital currencies and ETFs, has told journalists that Bitcoin ETF is a real possibility. But that prospect now looks remote.

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