As bitcoin and the cryptocurrency industry continue to grow, there is increasing pressure on the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to do something about approving a bitcoin-based exchange-traded fund (ETF). America is lagging, and with the digital currency world expanding to such a degree, many analysts and investors are wondering what could be taking so long.
A Bitcoin ETF: Is It Right Around the Corner?
As it stands, there are at least eight companies looking to get bitcoin or crypto-based ETF applications approved by the governing financial agency. Many big names – including Mike Novogratz of Galaxy Digital fame – have thrown their hats into the ring, hoping to be amongst the first to get approved for America’s financial future.
In addition, other companies such as Fidelity Investments are also stepping into the forum, though to be fair, while all these companies may be trying their best to garner approval, the decision still lies with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and in the end, the agency has proven itself to be quite stubborn.
This battle has been going on for years, with firms such as Van Eck and Bitwise looking to get a green light on a bitcoin ETF as early as 2017. These attempts were thrown out before any serious work could be done, though the agency at least showed itself to be open to the idea a few years later. However, nothing serious ever came about, and while Bitwise saw its application rejected repeatedly, Van Eck eventually decided to pull the plug on itself before getting a resounding “no” from the SEC.
This has ultimately paved the way for Canada – the U.S.’s neighbor to the north – to become the first issuer of bitcoin and crypto ETFs. The country has seen the unveiling of two bitcoin-based products and an Ethereum-based one, and thus the country has garnered a position as a primary financial innovator, and the U.S. can only hope to catch up at this stage.
Analyst James Seyffart explains:
Anyone who wants to launch a bitcoin ETF and has been waiting wants to make sure their hat is in the ring if, and when, the SEC approves. So, if they are not first, they are at least on the radar… They would have to either approve or deny both Wisdom Tree and Van Eck in 2021. Personally, I just can’t see the SEC denying both unless something changes.
What Will the SEC Do?
With so many applications in the mix, it seems like the SEC would eventually feel enough pressure to give in and say “yes” to such a product. Nic Carter – partner at venture firm Castle Island Ventures – said in an interview:
There’s a huge amount of pressure on the SEC to do something. The trust has way outgrown its structure and the lack of an arbitrage mechanism is causing a fair amount of harm to holders.