Proposals on two bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) were submitted to The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to earlier this year. The regulatory body has delayed making a decision about them. SEC extends its review period of the Bitwise Bitcoin ETF proposal filed in conjunction with NYSE Arca.
Bitwise Asset Management filed the first ETF proposal with NYSE Arca on February 15th. The filing initiated the first 45-day clock for a preliminary decision. The decision to extend has given the SEC another 45 to consider the proposal. The SEC has 240 days in total, to approve or reject any ETF proposal.
The new date of May 16, 2019 to “either approve or disapprove, or institute proceedings to determine whether to disapprove”y was given by the SEC.
As of the end of March, the SEC had received 21 comments on the proposed rule change.
Another bitcoin ETF proposal that was filed nearly a year ago is also reviewed by the SEC. That proposal was filed by VanEck and SolidX, in partnership with Cboe BZX Exchange. It was withdrawn in January when the longest partial government shutdown in U.S. history occurred. Jan van Eck, VanEck CEO explained that the shutdown paused conversations between the SEC and the companies. Fortunately for them, the halt was temporary.
The proposal was resubmitted by Cboe in late January. On February 20th, it was published to the Federal Register. The SEC extended this decision as well, assigning May 21 as the date on which it would either make a firm decision or launch proceedings to do so.
Even though no decision to approve any bitcoin ETFs have been made by the SEC yet, it is believed by several people in the community that it may happen this year.
In early February, the SEC Commissioner, Robert Jackson, said in an interview that he believes that the standards set by the regulator for an ETF proposal will “eventually” be satisfied.
A representative of the Kobre Kim law firm, Attorney Jake Chervinsky, gave his opinion, which was even more positive:
“it’s entirely possible that another  months of development in the cryptocurrency ecosystem could be enough to finally warrant approval of a bitcoin ETF.”