The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission took its sweet time on this one, but the result on the the latest Bitcoin ETF proposal was the same—which was no result at all.
On Monday, the SEC once again chose to delay making a decision on whether to finally greenlight a bitcoin-backed exchange-traded fund, this latest bid brought forth by the investment management firm VanEck and blockchain startup SolidX.
It’s a move that was entirely expected, said former securities litigator Jake Chervinsky on Twitter:
Chervinsky had, in fact, predicted just yesterday that a delay on the VanEck/SolidX Bitcoin ETF was the most likely outcome, given the SEC’s track record on these sorts of proposed rule changes.
The Commission has said more times than we care to actually research and count that it will not approve a Bitcoin ETF proposal until it is satisfied that trading on cryptocurrency exchanges, and therefore the resulting volatile price of Bitcoin, is safely free of market manipulation. After all, an exchange-traded fund is widely believed to be the Bitcoin gateway that leads to untold legions of both retail and institutional investors buying into the game—allowing for investment in the coin without having to go through the trouble of actually purchasing and holding the underlying asset.
So what could have possibly changed in the crypto market to have convinced regulators their conditions had been met and their fears assuaged?
Absolutely nothing. And yet, here we are.
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Last Tuesday, the SEC similarly opted to delay ruling on the Bitwise Bitcoin ETF and put out its customary call for public comments on the matter.
As Chervinsky noted, however, it was slightly unusual that the SEC chose not to make its (in)decision on the VanEck/SolidX ETF at the same time as the Bitwise proposal. The delay provided the slightest glimmer of hope that an approval could alas be forthcoming from the Commission— hope which Chervinsky obliterated in the aforementioned Twitter thread yesterday.
In the end, the delay on the SEC’s delay meant nothing at all—the latest Macbethian twist in a tale that's full of sound and fury, signifying diddly-squat.
The next deadline is August 19. We can hardly wait to breathlessly report the next painfully predictable result.