Countless analysts have had high hopes for Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) proposals. But these products aren’t coming to market just yet.
As Blockonomi reported previously, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has delayed its verdict on proposals in this class for the umpteenth time.
On Monday, it simultaneously issued a delay verdict on three Bitcoin-backed funds from Bitwise Asset Management, VanEck and SolidX, and Wilshire Phoenix.
Bitwise “Unsurprised” by Bitcoin ETF Decision
Despite this unfortunate verdict, the chief executive of Bitwise, Hunter Horsley, seems to be unfazed. He shared his thoughts on a recent interview with Bloomberg TV.
In the interview, he argued that the decision to delay from the SEC is one that his firm “expected” and is “unsurprised by”, citing the fact that the agency actually has until October 13th to make a final verdict.
Indeed, during the previous cycles of Bitcoin ETF applications being filed, the SEC always pushed its decision. This could have been done in hopes that the Bitcoin market matures enough for a last-minute approval.
Addressing the underlying concerns that the SEC has cited on multiple occasions, Horsley claimed that lots of progress has been made over the past 12 months in terms of custody. Bitwise’s head of research, Matt Hougan, the analyst who headed the creation of the firm’s seminal report on the state of the Bitcoin spot market, added that spreads are also decreasing (a sign of liquidity), crypto insurance is being offered, and big-name market-making institutions are getting into the mix.
Bitwise’s latest thoughts on the progression seen in the underlying spot market are very similar to one Horsley made in February, when he said that Bitcoin markets are in a better place to have an ETF than ever before.
Hougan then remarked on the importance of a Bitcoin ETF and similar products like it coming to market:
“Right now, half of the money in the U.S. is managed by financial advisors. What a Bitcoin ETF would do is the same thing that a gold ETF or private bank ETF did: open up these major new areas of the market to a major segment of American wealth.”
SEC Coming Down Hard on Crypto
While Horsley isn’t all too worried about his firm’s proposal, it is clear that the SEC isn’t being all too amicable towards the cryptocurrency space.
Hours after its verdict on the aforementioned Bitcoin ETF proposals, the American financial regulator revealed that it had filed a lawsuit against Veritaseum, once of the hottest altcoin projects on the block(chain).
The lawsuit, classified as an “emergency suit”, was filed to prevent the chief executive of Veritaseum, Reginald Middleton, and the rest of the project’s team from spending the proceeds of an ICO that the SEC believes was fraudulently conducted in 2017 and 2018. The SEC claims that Veritaseum made false misrepresentations of its VERI token, pushing it to investors as something that it isn’t to try and boost the crypto’s performance. The suit reads:
“To skirt the federal securities laws’ registration requirements, Middleton attempted to refashion VERI variously as “pre-paid fees” or “software,” and likened them to gift cards. In reality, VERI are securities, as the substance of the Offering shows.”
This recent suit is reminiscent of one the SEC filed in June, calling out Canadian social media giant Kik for issuing the offering of purported crypto security KIN without the proper paperwork. The agency added that the optics of some of Kik’s material made it seem like the KIN ICO was a “securities offering”. Kik has since rebutted the claims. It is unclear of Veritaseum will follow suit.