Business

Erik Gibbs

No surprise – SEC delays responding to crypto ETF requests

It’s no wonder that people often complain about governments not being able to get much accomplished. It’s been more than a year since the first proposal for a cryptocurrency exchange-traded fund (ETF) was introduced to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), yet the government body still can’t seem to get its head wrapped around the idea. The SEC has announced that it will, once again, delay taking a decision on the subject and has postponed forward progress on three different ETF proposals. 

The three proposals at stake are led by asset managers Bitwise Asset Management, Wilshire Phoenix and VanEck SolidX, and would involve either the NYSE Arca or the CBOE BZC Exchange. VanEck’s ETF won’t find resolution – positive or negative – until October 18, almost a year and a half since it was first introduced. Bitwise’s solution isn’t expected to be resolved until October 13, and Wilshire, which wants to introduce the US Bitcoin and Treasury Investment Trust, has to wait until September 29 to find out what the SEC wants to do. 

In announcing the three separate delays, the SEC used a boilerplate response and states in each, “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.”

The SEC has already allowed several public commenting periods for various crypto ETF proposals. It has heard from industry experts, financial experts, investors and more, but is still not able to form a resolution. That in itself should be enough to make people worry about the ability of the commission to properly adhere to its legal charter. The continued delays represent nothing more than an attempt by the SEC to avoid touching a sensitive subject that has policymakers fearful of the future of fiat. 

“Crypto Mom” was right. SEC Commissioner Hester Pierce has been a proponent of digital assets and has already called out the commission for overstepping its bounds. She has argued that the SEC cannot deny the rule proposals based on, as the commission has stated, the volatility of the crypto markets. However, Pierce is also cognizant of the fact that her hands are tied, and stated last December, “Definitely possible could be 20 years from now or it could be tomorrow. Don’t hold your breath. The SEC took a long time to establish Finhub. It might take even longer to approve an exchange traded product.”

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