New Bitcoin ETF Filings Follow CBOE Futures Debut

Stan Higgins
Dec 11, 2017 at 16:00 UTC
Updated Dec 11, 2017 at 16:04 UTC
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New public filings suggest that the launch of new bitcoin futures products in the U.S. has renewed a push to create exchange-traded funds (ETFs) tied to the cryptocurrency.

According to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s EDGAR system, new applications have been received for the VanEck Vectors Bitcoin Strategy ETF, as well as both the REX Bitcoin Strategy ETF and REX Short Bitcoin Strategy ETF. Connecticut-based REX’s filing is dated Dec. 8, whereas VanEck’s is dated Dec. 11, the records show.

As previously reported, filings from these firms were withdrawn earlier this year after the SEC raised questions about the timing of the launches.

“[SEC] Staff expressed the view that it is the Commission’s policy to not review a registration statement for a fund where the underlying instruments in which the fund intends to primarily invest are not yet available,” VanEck assistant general counsel Matthew Babinsky wrote in a letter in late September. REX went on to make a similar statement the following month.

The timing is notable, given that Chicago-based CBOE launched its initial bitcoin futures products on Sunday. That opening was marked by a near-simultaneous spike in the price of bitcoin and loss of connectivity on the exchange operator’s website.

Subsequent reports show that CBOE’s self-imposed circuit-breakers – which pause trading during big price swings – have activated in the hours since the futures trading went live.

According to data from CNBC, the price of CBOE’s January futures contract is trading at $17,790 as of 10:14 a.m. EST, on a volume of 3,011 following the start of trading.

Graph miniature image via Shutterstock

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