Bitwise Asset Management has withdrawn its bid to launch a Bitcoin ETF product. The firm recently submitted a filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) informing them of their decision.
Another one bites the dust
Bitwise was the last hope for the crypto industry to see a Bitcoin ETF finally enter the market. The firm aimed to launch a physically-backed Bitcoin investment that would be listed on NYSE Arca. It would have added a new crypto derivative product to the market, helping regularize the crypto industry. Bitwise depended on a proposed rule change that could have allowed it to list a Bitcoin ETF Trust and trade it on the market.
The ETF would be based on an index formed with the data from the largest crypto exchanges with adequate liquidity and volume. The firm dubbed it the Bitwise Bitcoin Total Return Index, which aims to highlight the total returns available to cryptocurrency investors. It would also include meaningful hard forks on the network. It claimed to add 100% cold storage of assets with a third-party, regulated and institutional custodian.
SEC announces the change
Bitwise first filed for an ETF Trust in January 2019. Today, the SEC said that the firm has withdrawn its statement. In a detailed statement, the regulator noted,
“At this time, the Registrant has determined not to pursue the registration and sale of the securities covered by the Registration Statement. The Registrant believes that this withdrawal request is consistent with the public interest and protection of investors as required by Rule 477(a) of the Act and represents, in accordance with Rule 477(c) of the Act, that there has been no issuance, distribution or sale of the securities under the Registration Statement.”
The news of the Bitwise application withdrawal has disappointed the crypto community. If the application were approved, the new ETF would have traded at Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) owned NYSE Arca. Bitwise Index Services would have managed the ETF. ICE is already backing Bakkt, a crypto solution for large investors.
What is interesting about the Bitwise application is that it was the second time a company has applied for a physically-backed ETF. Before them, money management firm VanEck and SolidX, a blockchain technology firm, partnered to apply for a physically-backed ETF product.