According to an analyst at CFRA Research, VanEck, Fidelity Investments, and Valkyrie Digital Assets may not see their Bitcoin exchange-traded funds, or ETFs, approved by U.S. regulators for up to two years.
In an interview on CNBC’s ETF Edge Monday, Todd Rosenbluth, head of ETF and mutual fund research at CFRA, told host Bob Pisani that he believed the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, would extend the timeline for considering the Bitcoin ETF first pitched by investment management firm VanEck in January. The SEC officially acknowledged receipt of the Bitcoin ETF application on March 15, giving the regulatory body until April 29 to come to a decision or extend the deadline.
"We've got a number of firms that have either gone through the filing process or have previously filed but are waiting for more clarity," said Rosenbluth. "The SEC is less likely we think to try to pick a winner, as to who comes first and I think we're more likely to see them — if they do approve an ETF — to approve multiple Bitcoin-related ETFs.”
“We've got a number of firms that have entered. We think we're likely to see one in the coming year or two, but we don't have a firm timeframe as to when the answer would be yes."
VanEck and Valkyrie both filed a registration with the SEC to form a Bitcoin ETF in January, with Fidelity following in March. The regulatory body has offered no indication as to what it will decide, but given its seeming reticence in previously approving a crypto ETF, many experts do not expect a decision soon.
The U.S. may not yet have approved a crypto ETF, but Canadian firms have been leading the way in North America. Toronto-based Purpose Investments launched a Bitcoin ETF in February, and Ninepoint Partners is reportedly planning to change its Bitcoin trust offering to an exchange-traded fund as well. Both investment fund manager 3iQ and Evolve Funds Group announced they had filed a prospectus with Canadian regulators for approval to begin trading crypto ETFs.
Following the Fidelity filing last month, Rosenbluth said it was “a question of when, not if, the SEC will approve a Bitcoin ETF.” He seemed to be implying on Monday that the approval of even one in the United States could potentially open the floodgates for firms looking to form crypto ETFs.
“If they approve someone, they're gonna approve all of them,” said Pisani.