The hunt for a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) ran into another roadblock yesterday. Sources posit the current U.S. government shutdown might be to blame.
The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) withdrew its listing application regarding the VanEck-SolidX bitcoin ETF yesterday. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) postponed its ruling on the matter several times last year, most recently settling on a February decision until yesterday’s withdrawal changed plans once again.
According to a recent CNBC segment, the current U.S. government shutdown may have, in part, led to the withdrawal. CNBC brought in Jan Van Eck of Van Eck Associates to discuss the ETF situation, among other topics.
Van Eck mentioned they have been in detailed discussions with the SEC regarding the ETF’s approval.
The SEC is affected by the shutdown, so we were engaged in discussions with the SEC about the bitcoin related issues -custody, market manipulation, prices – and that had to stop, and so instead of trying to slip through or something, we just had the application pulled […] [W]e will refile and re-engage in the discussions when the SEC gets going again.”
Speaking on some of the SEC’s concerns regarding custody, pricing, etc., Van Eck said he (and associated parties) have sound answers to the problems at hand regarding approval.
“We think we actually have pretty solid answers to those, but we just need to really demonstrate it very very clearly and convincingly to the regulators,” Van Eck noted. “[W]e were trying to do that, but we obviously can’t have meetings while they’re [the SEC] shutdown.”
According to Fox News, the current government shutdown is the longest in U.S. history. In a recent article, ETF.com explained the shutdown has impacted the entire ETF space as a whole, mentioning approval complications, among other aspects.
Starting in December, the SEC put much of its staff on hold, likely contributing to such delays and complications. “Effective Thursday, Dec. 27 and until further notice, the agency will have a very limited number of staff members available,” the SEC posted on its website.
Future bitcoin ETF hope?
The ETF, however, likely will find itself in the spotlight again after the shutdown concludes. Quoted in Bloomberg’s recent article on the bitcoin ETF news, the CBOE said, “We plan to resubmit a filing at a later date and look forward to continued discussions with the SEC.”