Crypto Really (Really) Wants a Bitcoin ETF

NEWS
Christine Kim
Jul 23, 2018 at 19:00 UTC  |  Updated  Jul 24, 2018 at 13:00 UTC

The crypto universe has spoken: they want a bitcoin ETF and they want it now.

As CoinDesk previously reported, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) sought comments earlier this summer on the latest effort to get an exchange-traded fund tied to bitcoin approved and listed.

That comments period is now closed, and the SEC is ostensibly going over the input it received – but what the agency ultimately decides is anyone's guess.

These comments are just a snippet of the 250 that have been made in light of a proposed rule change that would, if approved, give permission to Cboe and blockchain technology firm SolidX to launch a regulated bitcoin ETF.

Dubbed the VanEck SolidX Bitcoin Trust, the proposed ETF would be priced from a bundle of crypto-assets that fluctuates in value primarily in accordance with over-the-counter trading desks, as opposed to online cryptocurrency exchanges.

In addition, SolidX would offer insurance for investors covering loss or theft of bitcoins held by the trust, differentiating it from the most recent bid for a regulated crypto ETF led by the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust.

As a result of the SEC's request – and the intense interest in such a topic as demonstrated in the past – economists, CEOs, CIOs, consultants, financial analysts, and more have sent in their comments, all published indiscriminately in a series of posts ranging from the thoughtful to the blatantly comical.

As one Twitter user boasts:

Not all comments were supportive, however, with some seeing the potential approval of a bitcoin ETF regardless of the issuing company as a dangerous precedent and perhaps possibly "the biggest mistake since the creation of synthetic-CDOs."

Others told the agency:

Nevertheless, the majority of positive comments overwhelmingly drowned out the concern.

Supporters of the proposed rule change argued that a bitcoin ETF would, in fact, make the crypto markets a safer and more trustworthy space for investors to deal in.


And of course, as with any public forum, still others seemed to miss the point of the issue entirely and thought it appropriate to voice concerns for other more pressing matters in their purview.

While the SEC likely expected the onslaught of several different opinions to answer their open call for "written data, views, and arguments," they may not have been prepared for the fervour at which the crypto community would capitalize on this opportunity to explain to government officials just how badly they want that bitcoin ETF approved.

(That said, it's not the first time the SEC has been on the receiving end of overly enthusiastic bitcoin supporters.)

The SEC has up to 90 days to take all of these comments – the good and the bad, the wild and the silly – before coming to a decision. As with last year's drama, only time will tell which decision the agency will make.

Editor's Note: Some comments captured in this post have been shortened. To see the full comment, click on the comment image.

Phone image via Shutterstock

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