United States regulator the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) says it will shortly commence the countdown period to approval or disapproval of the VanEck/SolidX Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). The news was announced in an unpublished notice that was filed on Feb. 19.
The move is the latest in a series of back-and-forth exchanges between the SEC and ETF sponsors.
The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) — the exchange applying with the SEC to list the Bitcoin ETF — had withdrawn its application for a rule change on the ETF in January, ostensibly due in part to the U.S. government shutdown. CBOE then resubmitted the application for consideration at the end of the month.
In line with the law, the SEC must now make a decision about whether to allow the ETF to launch within 90 days from the date the notice is published — set for today, Feb. 20.
As is standard practice, the notice states:
“Within 45 days of the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register or within such longer period up to 90 days (i) as the Commission may designate if it finds such longer period to be appropriate and publishes its reasons for so finding or (ii) as to which the Exchange consents, the Commission will:
A. by order approve or disapprove such proposed rule change, or
B. institute proceedings to determine whether the proposed rule change should be disapproved.”
Last week, the SEC began the same type of review period for a Bitcoin ETF from the NYSE Arca exchange. The exchange had filed a rule change proposal to list and trade shares of the Bitwise Bitcoin ETF Trust. The SEC notice of the start of the review period was published on Feb. 15.
As Cointelegraph previously reported, the same approval process has in fact led to several lengthy delays on SEC decisions. CBOE and NYSE Arca are some of the firms that have persisted, despite the raft of rejections experienced by other operators beginning in March 2017.
Nonetheless, cryptocurrency industry commentators increasingly agree that an approval is ultimately inevitable once market conditions meet the SEC’s requirements.