Once again, the never-ending uncertainty surrounding the arrival of Bitcoin ETF into the crypto market still carries on.
The U.S. SEC (Securities Exchange Commission) has declared a delay of their verdict on the Bitcoin ETF proposal Bitwise and VanEck filed.
Bitwise first filed their application with the NYSE Arca on February 15. The company was initially optimistic that the SEC would decide on their proposal within 45 days; scheduled for April 1, 2019. Nonetheless, the SEC has subsequently decided to extend this period, which provides for a maximum extension period of up to 90 days.
According to the SEC filing [PDF], the final decision date is now set for May 16. In detail, this filing outlines that the commission will either disapprove or approve or even subsequently initiate proceedings to decide on whether to reject the suggested amendment of rules.
What’s more, besides Bitwise, the SEC is also reviewing another application filed by VanEck and SolidX, an application that was presented in conjunction with the CBOE BZX exchange. In the January 2019 government shutdown, however, CBOE later temporarily withdrew its Bitcoin ETF application filed in 2018.
Nevertheless, in just seven days, CBOE went on to re-file its VanEck/SolidX ETF application in late-January to comply with the SEC rules. With this new application, the initial decision period will expire May 21, according to the SEC’s filing [PDF]. Similar to Bitwise, there is a high chance that the SEC will also extend this window to an extra 90-day period.
Although some optimists are confident that the SEC will finally approve a Bitcoin ETF before the year ends, there are those who are rather skeptical. Back in February, SEC Commissioner Robert J. Jackson said in an interview with Roll Call that he’s hopeful for the ultimate approval of a Bitcoin ETF, as long as the proposals satisfy the commission’s standards.
Criticism of the SEC
David Siegel, founder of 20|30 and Pillar Project, has heavily slammed the SEC for their slow movement on regulation. Siegel made his comments in a recent interview speaking on the current “Crypto Winter” and how it has been significantly damaging to the development of the crypto market.
When addressing the issue of the lengthy bear market, Siegel outlined that Crypto Winter signifies the end of an era. He went on to add that for around 18 months stretching between the beginning of 2017 to August 2018, the Crypto Winter has potentially killed the chance of open-source projects building infrastructure for a new century of progress.
Siegel further said that unless the government enacts new laws to endorse decentralization and blockchain, the U.S. will ultimately lag behind.
Nonetheless, a review of the SEC’s history pinpoints that the commission has always been firm on its decisions even when under similar scrutiny. Ultimately, the crypto community is eagerly waiting to see what further steps the SEC will take this year.