U.S. SEC Further Delays the Approval of VanEck Bitcoin ETF, Seeks Public Comments

On Wednesday, June 16, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced its decision to further delay the VanEck Bitcoin ETF proposal. This is for the second time that the regulator is extending the bid approval by 45 days.

The securities regulator noted that it will now seek public comments for the ETF product prepared by the CBOE Global Markets. The deadline for the public response has been set for the next month of July extending up to August.

The securities agency is seeking response from the public for some of the key questions like:

  1. Whether the trust and shares associated with the ETF would be susceptible to manipulation?
  2. Whether Cboe’s plan is set up to prevent fraud and manipulation?
  3. How transparent is Bitcoin?
  4. Has regulation of the Bitcoin market changed substantially in the past five years?

This is not the first time that the SEC has been rejecting the Bitcoin ETF proposal. However, this is the first rejection coming from the new SEC Chairman Gary Gensler who took charge earlier this year.

Before taking the charge at the SEC, Gensler served as a professor at the Massachusetts University teaching blockchain and cryptocurrency. Although, Gensler has been known for his crypto-friendly outlook but expecting approval for Bitcoin ETF off the bat from him is not expected.

Two months back, the SEC Chairman suggested working with the U.S. Congress to bring clear regulatory measures for the crypto industry.

Previously, the SEC has raised concerns over the investor protection and volatility as the primary reason behind rejecting the Bitcoin ETFs in the past. However, SEC Commissioner Hester Pierce, also popular as crypto mom, has been advocating in favour of crypto ETFs for long time now.

Pierce said that the SEC’s refusal to approve the Bitcoin ETF created an “investor protection problem” saying that the U.S. crypto investors will be going through "less direct routes to get the same result”. Thus, she thinks that delaying the Bitcoin ETF will be having its own consequences.

Market outside the U.S. have already started approving Bitcoin ETFs already. In Canada, the regulators have approved Bitcoin ETFs over the last few months. The Purpose Bitcoin ETF in Canada has gained strong significance seeing high institutional demand.