SEC delays VanEck’s third Bitcoin spot ETF application

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has pushed back a decision on the latest application for a Bitcoin (BTC) spot exchange-traded fund (ETF) by global investment firm VanEck.

The company has long been trying to get the green light for what will be the first BTC ETF in America, with its first application lodged with the SEC dating back to 2017, which was eventually denied.

VanEck saw a second application ruled out in November 2021 by the SEC, reasoning that the firm had not met thestandards to protect investors as well as prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices.

VanEck persevered with a third application for a BTC ETF offering in June 2022 filed with the SEC, highlighting a number of reasons why the SEC should reconsider its previous decisions.

Related: Bitcoin ETFs: A beginner’s guide to exchange-traded funds

VanEck’s primary argument was that American funds were gaining exposure to Bitcoin through BTC spot exchange-traded products offered in Canada. America’s northern neighbor approved a spot Bitcoin ETF in February 2021, becoming one of the first countries around the world to do so.

The deadline for approval of the latest filing with the SEC was set to expire on Aug. 27, leading the regulator to postpone its decision on the matter by almost two months.

The SEC has given itself until Oct. 11 to make a ruling and noted that it had not received any comments on the proposed rule change after calling for public consultation in July 2022:

“The Commission finds that it is appropriate to designate a longer period within which to take action on the proposed rule change so that it has sufficient time to consider the proposed rule change and the issues raised therein.”

The push for an American spot Bitcoin ETF has been a talking point since 2017, which would essentially allow institutional investors to buy shares representing Bitcoin that would be held by VanEck. This gives investors exposure to Bitcoin without having to physically own and store the cryptocurrency. VanEck intends to list its BTC ETF product on the Cboe BZX Exchange.