SEC Delays Winklevoss Bitcoin ETF Again

The SEC has delayed its decision on the Winklevoss brothers' application for a bitcoin ETF until after president-elect Donald Trump is sworn in.

AccessTimeIconJan 4, 2017 at 8:48 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 12:58 p.m. UTC

By the time Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss receive a final decision from the SEC on their long-proposed bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF), a new president will be leading the US.

Though an earlier 10th January deadline would have placed the decision by the SEC to approve or disapprove the Winklevoss brothers' request, paperwork filed today now extends the deadline to 11thMarch.

While the extension isn't a surprise, one industry observer thinks the transition of power may have made it essential.

Blockchain products lead at ARK Investment Management, Chris Burniske, said that SEC chair Mary Jo White's plans to leave with the departure of President Barack Obama are likely just the beginning of the internal changes.

Burniske told CoinDesk:

"With high turnover like this, it's easy for things to be delayed. If there's not time to attend to this, then it will be pushed back."

This is just the latest extension the SEC has given itself to come to a final decision regarding the Winkelvoss ETF.

Neither Cameron nor Tyler Winklevoss were able to comment on the decision due to restrictions from the regulator.

Yes or no

While this is just the latest delay, it's important to note that the series of possible extensions permitted by law is capped at 240 days from the initial submission date in June 2016.

Traditionally, the likely course the SEC will follow is either to approve the request or, in the days leading up to the decision, allow the brothers to bow-out gracefully.

Burniske concluded:

"What will typically happen in scenario like this is either the SEC will approve or the proposed rule change will be withdrawn prior to a denial."

SEC image via Shutterstock


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