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VanEck Bitcoin ETF Decision Postponed by SEC for Further Review

2 mins
Updated by Kyle Baird
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In Brief

  • The filing asks for more time as new head Gary Gensler reviews applications.
  • Gensler is knowledgeable about crypto, and his appointment has been welcomed by investors.
  • VanEck’s Bitcoin ETF, if approved, would make it the first ETF with direct exposure to Bitcoin.
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The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has deemed it necessary to take more time to make a decision on the approval of the VanEck Bitcoin ETF application.

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has delayed its decision on the VanEck bitcoin ETF, according to a filing. The approval delay comes as new SEC head Gary Gensler reviews applications.

The bitcoin ETF under review would be the first of its kind, giving investors direct exposure to the asset class. Other ETFs focus on giving investors exposure to crypto via stocks of related companies. It is likely that the SEC is mulling over the potential pitfalls for retail investors, stemming from volatility and manipulation.

Such a decision is usually made in 45 days, but the SEC needs more time.

The filing reads;

“The Commission finds that it is appropriate to designate a longer period within which to take action on the proposed rule change so that it has sufficient time to consider the proposed rule change and the comments received.”

Investment management company VanEck filed the bitcoin ETF late last year, too much excitement from the crypto community. In the filing, it states that “bitcoin has matured” and is similar in “efficiency and scale…to established global equity, fixed income and commodity markets.”

Will crypto-friendly Gensler approve a bitcoin ETF?

Gary Gensler was appointed as SEC Chairman by President Biden in January, and the decision was well-received by the cryptocommunity. The MIT professor has taught courses on blockchain and cryptocurrency and has generally been open-minded about the asset class.

In a more recent report, Gensler said that he would review guidances provided by the U.S. Treasury, which is led by Janet Yellen. The latter has been critical of cryptocurrencies in the past, saying that they have little value. It’s unclear as to what the U.S.’ stance might be. However, the general impression is that regulators are concerned about making the right decision.

Meanwhile, other countries are either mimicking the US or going full steam ahead with currency digitization. China is one of the larger nations that have made headway. Its digital yuan set for launch later this year. However, nations like the US are more focused on creating effective regulation carefully rather than leverage the benefits.

The U.S. only has so much time and is expected to make progress on regulations this year. Gensler will be among the chief decision-makers, and his knowledge of crypto is a favorable sign.

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Rahul Nambiampurath
Rahul Nambiampurath's cryptocurrency journey first began in 2014 when he stumbled upon Satoshi's Bitcoin whitepaper. With a bachelor's degree in Commerce and an MBA in Finance from Sikkim Manipal University, he was among the few that first recognized the sheer untapped potential of decentralized technologies. Since then, he has helped DeFi platforms like Balancer and Sidus Heroes — a web3 metaverse — as well as CEXs like Bitso (Mexico's biggest) and Overbit to reach new heights with his...