Is a Bitcoin ETF Approval Closer with New SEC Appointee?
As the September 30th VanEck Bitcoin ETF decision looms, has the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) taken one step closer to a bitcoin ETF approval with the appointment of new commissioner Elad Roisman?
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Senate Confirms Roisman to Vacant SEC Seat, Bitcoin ETF Approval Odds Soar
The United States Senate confirmed Republican Elad Roisman to the SEC, replacing outgoing commissioner Michael S. Piwowar, on September 5th. Considered pro-crypto, Roisman’s appointment is thought to dramatically improve the chances of a bitcoin ETF approval.
The five commissioners of the SEC are now made up of two anti-crypto regulators, one undecided, and two more enthusiastic about regulated crypto products. Roisman joins Hester Peirce as the second commissioner considered pro-crypto. At the Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs committee hearings, the new appointee said:
“The U.S. capital markets are the envy of the world, and the importance of the SEC’s role in this cannot be overstated… To continue this, the SEC must examine and re-examine its rules, regulations, and guidelines to ensure that they are still working as intended to accomplish the SEC’s mission… This is most recently manifested in areas such as data protection and cybersecurity, as well as the emergence of new investments and technologies such as initial coin offerings and blockchain. It is essential that the SEC approach these new challenges in a fair and transparent manner, provide clarity and certainty to the markets and investors, and enforce the laws and regulations that hold market participants accountable.”
It is worth noting that the term of one of the anti-crypto commissioners ends in December, with a replacement likely to take a number of months.
Canada Beats the U.S. in the Race for a Regulated Crypto Product
Coinciding with the new appointment, First Block Capital Inc. in Canada has had its FBC Bitcoin Trust product–currently available to accredited investors only–approved for inclusion in mutual funds, opening it up to be added to Canadians’ retirement plans. It can also be purchased on NEO Connect under the ticker FBCBT.
The product was greenlit by both the Ontario Securities Commission and the British Columbia Securities Commission. Per First Block Capital Inc. Chief Investment Officer Marc van der Chijs:
“With this accomplishment, we continue to push Canada forward as a world leader in regulated blockchain and cryptocurrency investment vehicles.”
September 30th VanEck Decision Looms
In early August, the SEC delayed a decision on the CBOE BZX Exchange, Inc. application for a rule change that would allow it to list a VanEck SolidX Bitcoin Trust ETF, shaking investor confidence in the bitcoin market. With September 30th set as the deadline for a second deliberation, moves in Canada and the new commissioner’s appointment may be too late to see the VanEck product approved this year.
Some market watchers expect a positive bitcoin ETF decision early in 2019, although that may depend on the crypto attitude of the commission’s forthcoming appointee. The spree of ETF rejections over the past month is not likely to have any bearing on the VanEck decision, with the latter’s bid quality widely regarded as superior to its competitors’.
Sound off below. Is a bitcoin ETF approval inevitable for the SEC, especially considering the latest developments?
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