For the first time in more than a year, there are no active bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) proposals pending before the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Money manager VanEck, financial services firm SolidX and Cboe BZX Exchange withdrew a highly-anticipated proposal Tuesday, citing an ongoing U.S. government shutdown as the reason. The proposal, first filed last June, faced a final deadline of February 27 for approval or rejection. Due to the shutdown, many legal experts anticipated that the SEC would reject the proposal outright rather than let it be approved by default.
VanEck CEO Jan van Eck said the companies will “re-file and re-engage in the discussions” with the SEC when the shutdown ends, he did not provide a timeline for when this may happen. And indeed, it is unclear when the government will reopen – while the U.S. Senate was set to vote on two different bills that could potentially re-open the government, neither bill passed.
Other companies are also hesitant to file for a bitcoin ETF while the regulator is in a state of limbo. Bitwise Asset Management, which announced its intention to file for a fund with NYSE Arca earlier this month, has not yet submitted the required rule change proposal. Bitwise did not respond to a request for comment by press time.
Proponents of the fund hope a regulated bitcoin ETF, once approved, will bring in new investors, boosting bitcoin’s liquidity and potentially even pumping its price.