Cboe ETF Filing Latest in String of Attempts

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In Brief
  • Due to renewed interest, Cboe Global Markets wants to again offer crypto-based assets.

  • The exchange holding company previously offered bitcoin futures, but let the contracts settle after interest faded.

  • Fidelity and Goldman Sachs have also recently filed with the SEC to offer bitcoin ETFs.

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Cboe Global Markets Inc. is seeking to begin offering crypto-assets again after several unsuccessful attempts in the past.



In 2017, the Chicago-based exchange holding company became the first US exchange to list bitcoin futures. At the time, this was followed by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) Group, whose products ended up more prevalent.

Cboe Global Markets owns the Chicago Board Options Exchange, among other exchanges. As the largest American options exchange, it commands significant influence in the industry.



However, due to waning interest, Cboe let its last bitcoin futures expire in June 2019. Another attempt faltered later that year. In September 2019, the Cboe-owned BZX exchange withdrew a proposal to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). It had hoped to list and trade shares of the VanEck SolidX Bitcoin Trust. 

Try, Try Again

Now, Cboe seems primed to give it another shot. In December 2020,  it entered the crypto market-data business by partnering with CoinRoutes Inc. As the crypto market matures, the increasing demand for related products has become irresistible, CEO Ed Tilly told Bloomberg.

“We’re still interested in the space, we haven’t given up on it,” Tilly said. “We’re keen on building out the entire platform. There’s a lot of demand from retail and institutions, and we need to be there.” Presently, Cboe has its sights set on its previous target, the VanEck Bitcoin Trust. “We’re very keen to move along approval for the VanEck ETF,” Tilly added. The company filed with the SEC to list at trade the exchange-traded fund (ETF) earlier this month.

Bitcoin ETF High Rollers

Cboe is not alone among larger financial institutions looking to offer crypto-based assets. On March 24, American financial services company Fidelity Investments filed with the SEC to list and file bitcoin ETFs. Fidelity is one of the largest asset managers in the world. It currently has $4.9 trillion in assets under management.  

A few days earlier, American investment bank Goldman Sachs filed a similar filing with the SEC on March 19. If these filings are successful, they could become a significant step in wider institutional cryptocurrency adoption.


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Nick is a data scientist who teaches economics and communication in Budapest, Hungary, where he received a BA in Political Science and Economics and an MSc in Business Analytics from CEU. He has been writing about cryptocurrency and blockchain technology since 2018, and is intrigued by its potential economic and political usage. He can best be described as an optimistic center-left skeptic.

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