The Securities and Exchange Commission ( SEC) has yet again delayed a ruling on VanEck’s bitcoin ETF till February 27, 2019. The postponement was expected as 2018 is about to end amidst a bearish market.
The SEC announced in a December 6 statement
.“The Commission finds it appropriate to designate a longer period within which to issue an order approving or disapproving the proposed rule change so that it has sufficient time to consider this proposed rule change,”
Interestingly, hours before, Gabor Gurbacs — VanEck’s director of digital asset strategy reiterated that SEC approval was round the corner.
— Brad Smith (@thebradsmith) December 6, 2018
The SEC has delayed making a decision on the ETF by VanEck SolidX Bitcoin Trust several times in 2018. The agency rejected 9 bitcoin ETF applications, citing the applicants’ failure to demonstrate how they could prevent fraud and market manipulation.
“It’s fairly certain to us that America wants a bitcoin ETF,” Gurbacs told Cheddar. “We think that we’ve met all market structure obstacles and requirements on pricing, custody, valuation, and safekeeping, so we are cautiously optimistic.”
In June 2018 and again in March 2017, the SEC rejected the bitcoin ETF applications submitted by the Winklevoss twins, Tyler and Cameron. Despite the setbacks, the Winklevoss twins, the founders of cryptocurrency exchange Gemini — remain confident that approval is forthcoming.
Waiting for Cryptocurrency’s alleged “Legitimacy”
Market insiders are divided on whether a bitcoin ETF is a good idea. Among the skeptics is Larry Fink, the CEO of BlackRock — the world’s largest asset manager and ETF provider.
BlackRock has slowly started to embrace cryptocurrencies, but said it will not launch a bitcoin exchange-traded fund until crypto becomes “legitimate.”
“I wouldn’t say never — when it’s legitimate, yes,” Fink said. “It will ultimately have to be backed by a government. I don’t sense that any government will allow that unless they have a sense of where that money’s going.”
Fink said he’s concerned about the potential for scams, money-laundering, and tax evasion because the crypto industry is decentralized, anonymous, and largely unregulated.
Until that changes, Fink said BlackRock having $6.4 trillion in assets under management will not roll out a cryptocurrency ETF.