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US SEC Seeks Comment on VanEck Bitcoin ETF Proposal

The cryptocurrency ETF saga continues as US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced it is seeking further information about intentions concerning whether it would approve a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) proposed by VanEck and SolidX. Over 1,400 comments have been made to the commission regarding the proposal as of September 19, 2018.

The project was initially filed on June 6, to list and trade an ETF that is backed by actual bitcoins rather than futures. An ETF is a marketable security traded on stock exchanges in much the same way as stocks, bonds, or commodities.

The Bitcoin ETF is the result of a collaboration between investment firm VanEck and financial service company SolidX. SEC was to disclose the decision within 45 days of the filing date. But on August 7, the commission announced that the decision had been postponed until September 30. With the scheduled date fast approaching, the regulatory agency has again announced that it has not reached any conclusions on the outcome of the proposal.

As a result, it is seeking more information on the proposed rule change from interested parties. “Institution of proceedings does not indicate that the commission has reached any conclusions with respect to any of the issues involved. Rather, as described below, the Commission seeks and encourages interested persons to provide comments on the proposed rule change,” an official statement reads.

The commission identified 18 key areas where it is seeking further information concerning the subject, among which are commenter’s opinions on the BZX’s statement in support of the project. The notice published on SEC’s website reads: ‘What are commenters’ views on the Sponsor’s assertion, described by the Exchange in the Notice, that “the OTC desks have a better measure of the market than any exchange-specific reference price, whether individually or indexed across multiple exchanges”?’

It will be recalled that the Chicago Board of Exchange (CBOE) BZX Equities Exchange (BZX) had on June 20, filed a proposed rule with the commission to list and trade shares of SolidX Bitcoin Shares. The physically-backed shares are issued by the VanEck SolidX Bitcoin Trust.

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