SEC Gives Bitwise Another Spin at the ETF Wheel 

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The United States Securities and Exchange Commission is taking another look at the application for a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) that was submitted by Bitwise Asset Management and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) Arca.

According to an announcement, the financial watchdog confirmed that the ETF filing from both financial institutions would once again be reviewed, thus effectively giving its proponents a chance to make some fundamental changes to the initial application and, hopefully, receive the green light.

Insufficient investor protection is a big issue

The ETF proposal was initially rejected in October, as an announcement from the agency ruled that it had not met the requirements for launch. 

More specifically, the announcement revealed that the applicants had fallen short of the requirements mandated to protect against market manipulation and other illegal activities. For instance, the SEC claimed that the NYSE Arca had been found wanting under the provisions of the Exchange Act and the SEC’s Rules of Practice, especially the particularly “the requirement that the rules of a national securities exchange be designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices.”

Now that the proposal will be reviewed once more, both the NYSE Arca and Bitwise will have a particular area to focus on, investor protection. In the rejection order, the SEC commissioner explained that the evidence provided by the proposal insufficiently supported the claim that the “real” spot market for Bitcoin, can sufficiently resist manipulation, especially when fake and/or non-economic data is removed.

Since the proposal will be reviewed, any party or entity is free to file a statement to support or oppose the action to reject the previous one. A deadline for submissions has also been set for December 18, 2019.

The SEC also points out that until the proposal has been reviewed once more, the order to disapprove of the previous listing will remain in effect.

Not giving up 

Of course, the chance to make a redemption doesn’t necessarily mean that this Bitcoin ETF will pass. The SEC is notorious for having blocked every Bitcoin ETF proposal that has ever crossed its path. 

However, Bitwise isn’t the only one making changes to its proposal. Last month, an official announcement published on the SEC website conferred that Wilshire Phoenix, in collaboration with the NYSE Arca, has also amended its Bitcoin ETF proposal. 

Per the new filing, the Bitcoins in the trust will be stored with Coinbase Custody, one of the most popular asset custody services in the cryptocurrency space. While the agreement was the same as the one in the first filing, the difference here is that Coinbase will now confirm the availability of assets, which will be used to secure the trust within five business days. 

The filing also pointed out that when gold ETFs were approved, the SEC focused on futures and spot markets that have “a meaningful impact on the particular ETP,” even though gold several market segments trade in gold. It further suggests taking a similar approach to Bitcoin ETFs, adding that it will use the “CME CF BRR to determine the NAV of the Bitcoin held,” as the move will ensure that all its constituent platforms are used exclusively.

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About Jimmy Aki

Jimmy has been following the development of blockchain for several years, and he is optimistic about its potential to democratize the financial system.

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