Financial Giant Fidelity Pushes the SEC for Bitcoin ETF Approval

On Sept. 8, Fidelity Digital Assets president Tom Jessop and six of the firm's executives attended a private video meeting with several SEC officials. As per the recent filing, the asset management giant urged the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to approve its Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF).

According to a presentation from the meeting, they explained why the U.S. regulator should approve the proposed product. The reason mainly included:

  • "Increased investor appetite" for virtual currencies, especially for Bitcoin.
  • The growth of the "Bitcoin market has matured." It can support such funds, and investors would benefit from the opportunity to have direct exposure to BTC via an exchange-traded product (ETP).
  • The existence of similar funds in other countries like Canada, Germany, Switzerland, and Sweden.

Recently, SEC Chairman Gary Gensler hinted that the securities regulator can approve a Bitcoin ETF. However, the Bitcoin ETF has to track the price of Bitcoin futures offered by the CME Group. Besides, it will be subject to stricter rules as applicable to mutual funds. 

Commenting on this in the filing, Fidelity stated: "We believe bitcoin futures-based products are not a necessary interim step before a bitcoin ETP; firms should be able to meet investor demand for direct exposure to bitcoin through '33 Act bitcoin ETPs because the bitcoin market has matured and can support them."

Fidelity was first involved with cryptocurrencies nearly seven years back. After then, it has dedicatedly committed its resources to develop a broad set of digital asset capabilities, including custody, mining, and private BTC investment funds. The company floated its dedicated crypto wing Fidelity Digital Assets. In March, the firm also submitted paperwork to launch a bitcoin ETF called 'Wise Origin Bitcoin Trust' to track the digital currency's price performance. 

Various firms have filed for Bitcoin ETFs in the past, such as the international banking giant Goldman Sachs and the global investment management company VanEck.

In a conversation with Bloomberg, Nicole Abbott, a spokesperson from Fidelity, emailed, "An increasingly wide range of investors seeking access to Bitcoin has underscored the market need for a more diversified set of products offering exposure to digital assets to match demand." 

Until now, the SEC has taken a careful approach, and none of the proposals have received a green light which has pushed many to seek Bitcoin price exposure vehicles in other countries.