In August 2018, the SEC had initially rejected a total of 9 Bitcoin ETFs filed by ProShares, GraniteShares and Direxion. The proposals were originally submitted earlier this year on January 5, 2018. The Bitcoin ETFs from GraniteShares were to be listed on CBOE BZX Exchange while that from ProShares and Direxion were to be listed on NYSE Arca Exchange.
The SEC rejected all the proposals on the basis that they had not done enough to prevent market manipulation and other manipulative acts and practices. The agency wrote:
“…the Commission is disapproving this proposed rule change because, as discussed below, the Exchange has not met its burden under the Exchange Act and the Commission’s Rules of Practice to demonstrate that its proposal is consistent with the requirements of the Exchange Act Section 6(b)(5), in particular the requirement that a national securities exchange’s rules be designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices.”
Just a sad after the agency rejected the ETF proposals, SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce intervened in the matter. She said that agency will reconsider the rejection. “Yesterday’s staff orders disapproving SRO rules related to a number of bitcoin ETFs are stayed pending Commission review,” she said.
Last week on October 4, the SEC released multiple Bitcoin ETF proposal amendments for the proposed rule change to List and Trade the Shares of the GraniteShares Bitcoin ETF and the GraniteShares Short Bitcoin ETF. Note that the amendment also affects the Bitcoin ETF proposals from ProShares and
The SEC has now set a new deadline of October 26 seeking public inputs and comments on the Bitcoin ETF proposal. Post the deadline the SEC will start reviewing the proposed rule changes which would allow different regulated exchange operators to list the ETF products on their trading platform provided they get approved.
In a separate document, the SEC has noted that pending the agency’s further review, the existing order disapproving the proposed rule change will remain in effect. It is further ordered that the order disapproving [the proposed rule changes] shall remain in effect pending the Commission’s review,” wrote assistant secretary Eduardo Aleman. This holds true also for the ProShares and Direxion Bitcoin ETF proposals.
The SEC also noted that by 26th of October, any party either in favor of or in opposition should file a statement by the deadline.
“Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED, pursuant to Commission Rule of Practice 431, that by October 26, 2018, any party or other person may file a statement in support of, or in opposition to, the action made pursuant to delegated authority.”
The uncertainty over the Bitcoin ETF arrival is growing up with different opinions coming from the agency members. Similarly, for the CBOE Bitcoin ETF filed by the SolidX VanEck Turst, the SEC has sought more public comment before arriving at a conclusion.