SEC Rejects VanEck’s Spot Bitcoin ETF Proposal

The decision did not come as a surprise given SEC chair Gary Gensler’s preference for a bitcoin futures ETF.

AccessTimeIconNov 12, 2021 at 8:33 p.m. UTC
Updated Mar 9, 2024 at 2:02 a.m. UTC

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rejected investment firm VanEck’s proposal for a spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) in a decision released on Friday. The agency had previously delayed its final decision on the proposal in September.

  • In its letter, the SEC wrote that “the Commission concludes that [the fund] has not met its burden under the Exchange Act and the Commission’s Rules of Practice to demonstrate that its proposal is consistent with … the requirement that the rules of a national securities exchange be ‘designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices’ and to ‘protect investors and the public interest.’”
  • The decision was widely expected as SEC Chair Gary Gensler has indicated his preference for a bitcoin futures ETF over an ETF that holds bitcoin multiple times in the past.
  • Two bitcoin futures ETFs, the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITO) and the Valkyrie Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BTF), began trading last month, leading to a significant rally in the price of bitcoin. VanEck has its own bitcoin futures ETF that has received permission from the SEC to launch, but it has not begun trading yet.
  • The price of bitcoin briefly dipped less than 1% following the release of the SEC’s decision, but quickly recovered. Bitcoin was trading down about 3.1% over the past 24 hours to $63,182.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

UPDATE (Nov. 12, 17:10 UTC): Added BTC price information.

UPDATE (Nov. 12, 17:29 UTC): Added SEC statements in first bullet point.


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Nelson Wang

Nelson Wang was CoinDesk's news editor for the East Coast. He holds BTC and ETH above CoinDesk's disclosure threshold of $1,000.