In the last few months, a lot has been going around the Bitcoin ETF proposals filed by VanEck and SolidX. Earlier this year in June 2018, derivates marketplace Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) filed for Bitcoin-based exchange-traded-fund (ETF) with the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The Bitcoin ETF shares are backed by Vaneck Solidx Bitcoin Trust and will trade on regulated U.S. Exchange ‘CBOE BZX’, upon listing.
The SEC has sought more public input and comments on the CBOE Bitcoin ETF while shifting its ruling to the year-end. In the latest turn of events representative from CBOE, VanEck and SolidX met with the SEC top brass. The SEC has published a memorandum of the meeting, dated Oct. 9, regarding their discussion on the ETF proposal.
Details of the Presentation to SEC Commissioner
During the meeting earlier this month, the representatives briefed the newly appointed SEC Commissioner Elad Roisman regarding the proposed rule change in an effort to launch the Bitcoin ETF. Commissioner Roisman, a Trump appointee, recently assumed the SEC office last month in September. Roisman holds a potentially-friendly opinion regarding the crypto industry.
The ETF proponents – VanEck, SolidX, and CBOE – shared a presentation with Roisman. The presentation notes that if the ETF is approved, its share price will comprise 25 Bitcoin per share roughly around $200,000. Moreover, as the CBOE Bitcoin ETF is backed by physical Bitcoins, the ‘Trust’ holding the Bitcoin tokens will be completely insured against any theft or loss of Bitcoins.
Furthermore, the proponents also stated that the funds would price shares based on available data from OTC trading desks. These desks are supervised by CFTC and compliant with several regulations like AML/KYC/BSA. It ensures that they are “not subject to manipulation in the absence of misconduct by the trading desks themselves.”
SEC Said to Be Shifting Goal Posts
Despite the growth in the Bitcoin derivatives market, the SEC has been moving targets for the approval of Bitcoin ETFs. Earlier the securities agency stated that commodity-trust exchange-traded products (ETPs) have been always approved, historically, in the context of “well-established, significant, regulated markets for futures.”
The latest memorandum counters this SEC argument saying that multiple Bitcoin derivative products like futures exist in the crypto market, regulated by the CFTC. Moreover, these products are launched by big players like CME and CBOE. In August 2018, SEC rejected a total of nine Bitcoin ETF proposals citing concerns of lack of regulations in a crypto derivatives market, of a “significant” size.
In the latest memorandum, the representative from VanEck, SolidX and CBOE argued the SEC’s claims of lack of “significant” market size for Bitcoin derivatives.
“As issuers, we are concerned the SEC staff have created a moving target in their use of the word ‘significant,’” the group said in the presentation. “The Staff have never provided guidance as to what ‘significant’ means, enabling them to move the goal post indefinitely.”