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SEC Postpones Decision on First Bitcoin ETF Approval

SEC Postpones Decision on First Bitcoin ETF Approval

Photo: BTC Keychain @flickr Title: “Bitcoin Chain IMG_9192”

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has pushed back the date to approve the Winklevoss twins’ request to list a bitcoin ETF on the BATS exchange under the ticker COIN, according to a document published yesterday on the U.S. Federal Register website.

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The Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust, owned by brothers Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, filed the first bitcoin ETF application with the U.S. regulator three years ago. The twin brothers have been among the most public advocates for a bitcoin ETF and they also run currently both WinkDex, a bitcoin price index, and Gemini, a bitcoin custodian and exchange.

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 exchange-traded product.

Section 19(b)(2) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 provides that the commission should approve or disapprove the proposed rule change within 45 days. However, the SEC can extend the period another 45 days, and after that another 90 days if it finds a longer period to be appropriate, in which case it should publish its reasons for doing so.

SEC’s decision closely mirrors what happened in September when it made a similar decision regarding the application submitted by SolidX Partners, Inc., to launch an ETF that tracks the price of Bitcoin. The proposed exchange-traded product, which could be the first bitcoin ETF on a major stock exchange, will be called ‘SolidX Bitcoin Trust’ and will list on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol XBTC, subject to regulatory approval.

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