The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has so far rejected multiple bids to create a spot Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF), including those from Fidelity and SkyBridge. However, the lack of investor protection safeguards in the division has been mentioned by the agency as a major cause for the agency’s continued denials.
According to a Monday article by London-based financial publication Financial News, Michael Sonnenshein, CEO of asset management firm Grayscale, has stated that acquiring a spot Bitcoin ETF is the firm’s “number one” goal at the present.
Grayscale applied to convert its Bitcoin trust, which presently manages around $25 billion in the largest cryptocurrency, into a spot ETF last October, as reported by Tron Weekly Journal (TWJ).
In light of recent events, Grayscale’s proposed rule change is presently up for public comment at the commission. According to Bloomberg’s Eric Balchunas, the vast majority of opinions (approximately 95 percent) were in support of approving the product in February. The overall view seems to be that the commission has already approved multiple futures-based Bitcoin ETFs, so approving a product that follows the value of actual Bitcoin rather than derivatives makes it reasonable.
However, by refusing to authorize a Bitcoin ETF, Grayscale claims the SEC is creating an “unfair playing field.” Sonnenshein, on the other hand, believes the regulator will change its mind in the future.
SEC propels two BTC ETF proposals
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has approved two more spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) proposals, this time from WisdomTree and One River, respectively.
WisdomTree filed a fresh proposal in February, and the 45th day after publication in the federal register, the first window for the commission decision, is March 31. This order gives the new plan an extra 45 days to be considered, pushing the deadline back to May 15. the order read,
“The Commission finds that it is appropriate to designate a longer period within which to take action on the proposed rule change so that it has sufficient time to consider the proposed rule change and any comments received.”
As for the digital asset fund One River, which is funded by billionaire investor Alan Howard, filed for its One River Carbon Neutral Bitcoin Trust in May 2021. The product would store bitcoin and value its shares, with an additional adjustment to account for the cost of carbon offsets. In October, the proposed rule change was published in the Federal Register for public comment, putting the commission on notice.
The SEC has repeatedly booted the can on this decision, as it has done with other spot bitcoin products. The Commission was supposed to make a decision on April 3, 180 days after the October 5 publication, but the order gives the Commission a further 60 days to make a conclusion on June 2.