After the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) delayed a decision on several spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds, former Commission Chairman Jay Clayton said he believed approval would still be granted at some point.
Clayton said in an interview with CNBC on Sept. 1 that the support of spot bitcoin (BTC) investment vehicles by major financial institutions represents a shift in the way retail investors are exposed to cryptocurrencies. On Aug. 31, the SEC specified longer deadlines for reviewing spot BTC exchange-traded fund (ETF) applications from BlackRock, WisdomTree, VanEck, Invesco Galaxy, Bitwise, Valkyrie, and Fidelity.
After publishing the notice in the Federal Register, the committee has 45 days to approve, deny or delay again the ETF applications for the seven major companies. Clayton said he would like to see “progress on that.” The SEC can continue to push back the filing deadline until March 2024.
“Getting approval was inevitable,” Clayton said. “The dichotomy between futures products and spot products cannot go on forever.”
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Clayton’s arguments echo those of U.S. Court of Appeals Circuit Judge Neomi Rao, who joined two other judges in ordering the SEC to review asset manager Grayscale’s application to convert its Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) into a spot Bitcoin ETF. Rao stated that the SEC has approved a BTC futures ETF, and suggested that Grayscale’s product is “substantially similar.”
There have been delays in ETF applications ahead of Aug. 31, the Labor Day holiday weekend in the US. The next deadline for major spot BTC applications to be reviewed is Oct. 7, when the committee is expected to make an announcement on the offering from fund manager Global X.
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