The SEC’s Decision on Bitcoin ETF Will Influence Korean Crypto Markets

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The push for the approval of a Bitcoin Exchange Traded Funds (ETF) has been overwhelming over the past few months, with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) having some significant decisions to make as regards whether to grant approvals to ETF applications or reject them.

However, to show how much anticipation there is concerning the future of various Bitcoin ETF applications, a report from news outlet Korea Herald has confirmed that financial authorities in the Republic of Korea are keeping tabs on the SEC’s ultimate decision.

South Korea Blockchain

The news outlet cites an anonymous source from the KRK who said the regulator is waiting to see the verdict of the SEC, as well as how this entire scenario will pan out. The source said the U.S. has always been a frontrunner in the development of crypto-related investment options. Backing up the claims, the official points to the regulation of Bitcoin futures in the U.S., which was a first in the industry. To wit, it will be essential for other countries to keep an eye out for the decision of the American regulator, as well as other developments in the American cryptocurrency space.

The representative went on to add that the launch of Bitcoin ETFs is predicated significantly on the presence of a reliable index, such as the ones on Ether (ETH) and Bitcoin (BTC) launched by Nasdaq.

The news outlet quoted the official saying:

Providing a solid index required for the launch of such ETFs and of its role when it is commercialized and integrated into the market is being discussed expansively at the KRX because it would eventually concern investor protection issues.

ETFs and the SEC: A history of rejection

ETFs are a basket of securities that are proportionately represented in shares of the fund. They are seen to be much more stable that investing in the digital assets themselves, and many have also touted them as significant catalysts for the full adoption of cryptocurrencies as investment vehicles.

However, since their introduction, ETFs have had a somewhat steep path to approval. Up till now, every Bitcoin ETF application that has been put before the SEC has either been rejected or delayed.

Firms that have had their approvals for Bitcoin ETFs in the past rejected by the SEC include GraniteShares, ProShares, Direxion, and the Winklevoss twins-owned Gemini Trust.
Most of these rejections have been rejected because according to the SEC, the ETFs were still unstable investment options and as such, were unable to provide a sufficient amount of investor protection.

2019: Will it be the year of the ETF breakthrough?

Still, despite the SEC’s history of denying applications, companies have not been deterred in their efforts to list their ETF.
Earlier this week, it was confirmed that the regulator had started the process of reviewing an application submitted by VanEck, the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) and SolidX Partners.

The application has already been filled on the Federal Register’s February 20 edition, kicking off a 45-day period in which members of the public will be able to give their thoughts on the ETF. After the public review period, the agency will have an additional three weeks to issue a verdict on whether the proposal will be denied or accepted.

An earlier application for a rule change was filed by the CBOE, although the partial government shutdown over disputes concerning border security forced the board to withdraw its application last month. The CBOE then resubmitted its application on January 31.

This new proposal, if approved will allow investors to buy and sell Bitcoin-based SolidX shares that are issued and held by the VanEck SolidX Bitcoin Trust.

The VanEck application is joined by another filed jointly by Bitwise Asset Management and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) Arca.

The Bitwise ETF will peg the price of Bitcoin based on the assets price movements on a wide array of exchange platforms. Both entities had earlier announced the launching of a

Bitcoin-based ETF dubbed the “Bitwise ETF Trust.” They eventually filed for it last month, kicking off the 45-day public review period.

Analysts believe both applications have a good shot at gaining approval, and while the American crypto community will be watching for the outcome with keen anticipation, regulators abroad will be keeping an eye out as well.


Based in the UK, Jimmy has been following the development of blockchain for several years, and he is optimistic about its potential to democratize the financial system. Follow him on Twitter: @adejimi or Contact Jimmy@blockonomi.com

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