What You Need to Know
- The rejection of the spot Bitcoin fund, the first since the approval of Bitcoin futures ETFs, was widely expected.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rejected a proposal for an ETF that would directly hold Bitcoin, quashing hopes that a long-desired product would finally gain clearance after last month’s debut of the first funds linked to futures of the cryptocurrency.
In a widely expected move, the SEC denied VanEck approval for its Bitcoin exchange-traded fund to trade on Cboe Global Markets Inc., marking the first ruling on the subject since the initial Bitcoin futures ETFs launched. In a Friday order, the regulator reiterated its long-stated concern that basing a product on the spot price of Bitcoin could violate securities rules because the market is too prone to abuse.
“The Commission has consistently required that the listing exchange have a comprehensive surveillance-sharing agreement with a regulated market of significant size related to Bitcoin, or demonstrate that other means to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices are sufficient,” the SEC said. “The listing exchange has not met that requirement.”
Bitcoin extended losses after the rejection, dropping as low as 4.2% to $62,311. The largest cryptocurrency had rallied to an all-time high of $68,991 on Monday.
SEC Chair Gary Gensler has said he’s comfortable with futures-based ETFs because Bitcoin futures trade on highly regulated exchanges. That’s not the case with physical Bitcoin.