As 2020 draws to a close, one of the prior proponents of an exchange-traded fund (ETF) based on bitcoin is trying again: VanEck has submitted an application to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for a "VanEck Bitcoin Trust."
An ETF is seen as advantageous because it trades on the stock market in much the same way as shares in popular companies such as Apple and Microsoft.
VanEck has previously proposed ETFs, withdrawing its most recent application in September 2019. At the time the company said it remained committed to an exchange-traded product.
As it has in previous applications, VanEck said this ETF would trade on the Cboe BZX Exchange.
So far the SEC has considered many applications for bitcoin-based ETFs and rejected them all. In August 2018, it rejected nine such proposals on the same day.
Read more: The Case for a Bitcoin ETF
In October, SEC Chairman Jay Clayton said the agency was still open to considering ETF proposals.
Chairman Clayton stepped down officially last week. Dalia Blass, the director of the division of investment management, will also end her tenure in January, according to the agency. Blass was the author of a 2018 letter within the SEC expressing concerns that the bitcoin market was not large enough or liquid enough to be ready for an exchange-traded product.
According to the application, the number of outstanding shares will depend on how much BTC is delivered to the Trust and held by an as-yet-undesignated custodian.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by Bullish, a cryptocurrency exchange, which in turn is owned by Block.one, a firm with interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets including bitcoin and EOS. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary, and an editorial committee, chaired by a former editor-in-chief of The Wall Street Journal, is being formed to support journalistic integrity.