Invesco Adds Bitcoin ETF Application to Growing List

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In Brief
  • US investment management company Invesco is planning on launching a pair of cryptocurrency-based exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

  • Their application adds to the growing list of those currently pending with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

  • Some speculate that new SEC Chair Gary Gensler is using holding up ETF registrations in order to consolidate control over cryptocurrency exchanges.

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US investment management company Invesco is planning on launching a pair of cryptocurrency-based exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

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Some 85% of Invesco Galaxy Blockchain Economy ETF and the Invesco Galaxy Crypto Economy ETF will consist of crypto-linked equities, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The remainder will be in other trusts and funds that hold cryptocurrencies.

The application adds to the growing list of Bitcoin ETF filings submitted to the SEC. Chances of approval this year have diminished in light of skeptical comments from new Chairman Gary Gensler last month. 

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Gensler’s strategy

At least 12 issuers including Fidelity Investments, Grayscale Investments and WisdomTree Investments have submitted filings for a Bitcoin ETF. So far, the SEC has acknowledged at least six of the applications, according to Bloomberg Intelligence. This gives the SEC a limited amount of time to either approve or reject the proposals.

The SEC already rejected several bitcoin ETF applications and recently delayed deciding on another. Hours before its previous deadline on April 28, the SEC said its ruling on VanEck’s filing would come in June at the earliest. 

Last month, Gensler spoke before the House of Representatives subcommittee on financial services. During his testimony, he said, “there are many challenges and gaps for investor protection in crypto markets.” Further comments of his made it clear he intends to regulate cryptocurrencies more strictly.

For instance, he spoke of providing crypto investors with similar protections they would have on the New York Stock Exchange. He also said that no cryptocurrency exchanges had yet registered as an exchange with the SEC.

Craig Sal, vice-president of legal at Grayscale, a bitcoin trust provider, has his own thoughts about Gensler’s current approach. He believes Gensler is approaching the bitcoin ETF approval process as a means of gaining more oversight over crypto exchanges. “Gensler wants to see regulation there, and if that happens, it seems like that would be what the SEC needs in order to approve a bitcoin ETF,” he said

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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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