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Leading ETF Authority Claims SEC Still Gathering Information on Bitcoin (BTC)

SEC Bitcoin BTC Decision 2019

In a frustrating move for both institutional and retail investors, the United States Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) has ruled to delay its decision on Bitcoin ETFs–again.

Since mid-2018, Bitcoin Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) have been the hot topic of conversation in cryptocurrency and a focal point for the industry in encouraging institutions to invest in digital assets. As opposed to approving the assortment of ETF applications brought before it, the SEC has routinely denied or delayed such claims. As reported by EWN, the U.S. regulatory body delayed its decision on Bitcoin ETF frontrunner VanEck earlier today, and gave little reason in issuing its decision.

However, while investors may be losing patience with the SEC, one of the world’s leading authorities on ETFs claims that the commission is still in the ‘information gathering’ phase on Bitcoin, despite having multiple years worth of proposals.

David Nadig, managing director of ETF.com, told CNBC on May 20 that the SEC is still compiling a verdict on Bitcoin ETFs, and has the authority to continue delaying its creation, despite so-called deadlines,

“It is clear the SEC is still in information gathering mode. […] Technically, there are deadlines, but honestly they [SEC] can do what they want, they can kick this down the road until they are comfortable, it is clear from what we are hearing.”

While investors and crypto enthusiasts continue to beat their heads against the wall over the SEC’s glacial pace, the decision-making body appears to be in no hurry to approve the creation of a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund. It’s possible the SEC is waiting out another market cycle for cryptocurrency, content to sit on the sidelines in the event of a total BTC collapse.

Nadig, for what it’s worth, believes that a Bitcoin ETF will eventually get the greenlight, albeit at the cost of several months or more of waiting. Specifically, he told CNBC his prediction that a BTC ETF could take at least a quarter or longer to gain approval, pushing the proposed date for a decision to August or later. However, he also gave a vote of confidence for the growth of the cryptocurrency industry, and relayed that regulators would be more comfortable with a BTC ETF as the market matures.

Retail investors may not find difficulty in buying and selling cryptocurrency through the traditional exchange route, but institutional and high-capital investors have been more wary. An exchange-traded fund, with the regulatory weight of the SEC behind it, has long been looked to as the signal gun for kicking off large-scale investment. Given the Wild West nature of cryptocurrency exchanges, with hacks and other scandals becoming a regular occurrence for even the largest name players (look no further than Bitfinex and Binance), Wall Street and other institutions would prefer to have more assurance in their investment.

However, the continued delay by the SEC has led to increasing frustration by the investment base, with some analysts pointing to unfair treatment towards cryptocurrency compared to traditional markets.

The post Leading ETF Authority Claims SEC Still Gathering Information on Bitcoin (BTC) appeared first on Ethereum World News.

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Abra CEO Blames Biased SEC Process for Bitcoin ETF Rejection

Bitcoin (BTC), Exchange-Traded Fund—While the crypto markets exhibit continued price volatility, the industry focus remains on how the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission will handle Bitcoin Exchange-Traded Funds going forward. While the SEC has thus far rejected all ETF proposals, the language in the rejection has given the industry some hope in the fact that the regulatory firm recognizes the growing potential of blockchain—just not the current iteration to produce an ETF. While analysts, industry forecasters and outside pundits weigh in on the reasoning for continued ETF denial, from the format of the proposal to the companies submitting them, Abra’s CEO Bill Barhydt has a different taken on the reasoning.

Abra, a cryptocurrency payment platform and app-based exchange, is not among the current crop of companies vying for the position as head of the first approved Bitcoin ETF. However its founder and CEO Bill Barhydt’s background on Wall Street has given him greater insight to the inner-workings of the SEC and led him to conclude that cryptocurrency is largely suffering from an image problem. Speaking in an interview with CNBC , Barhydt states that he does believe a Bitcoin ETF will reach approval stage by the SEC before year’s end, but the current holdup is being driven over a lack of familiarity between the regulatory group and crypto industry. Specifically, Barhydt cites that the cryptocurrency exchange leaders that are submitting applications for ETF-approval “don’t fit the mold” of the typical executive that the commission has historically dealt with.

As much as the SEC has given reasoning for rejecting thus-far submitted ETFs, which have all received similar language in the denial reply, Barhydt blames personality and industry profile for being at the heart of the problem. Essentially, the crypto industry does not fit the mold created by typical Wall Street interaction—a feature that could continue to cause delay in receiving approval,

“I think the issue with the SEC, quite frankly, is that the people who are doing the applications don’t fit mold of who the SEC is used to approving. I used to work for Goldman Sachs, but if you look at how I’m dressed you probably wouldn’t know it. So I probably, unfortunately, couldn’t go like I am here to a meeting at the SEC to say I’m applying for the ability to issue an ETF.”

In August, Gemini cryptocurrency exchange founders and high profile investors Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss’s bid for a Bitcoin ETF was rejected along with several other applications. VanEck, which has been at forefront of the ETF process and is favored to be the first to receive approval, had its proposed application delayed until the end of this month. In all, the crypto markets took a massive hit in valuation following the delayed/rejected action of the SEC, with all of late July and early August’s positive price gains being eroded in the span of a week. While the current trend in market pricing looks to be making a small recovery, with BTC clinging to $7000, altcoins continue to make a major hit—leading some to conclude that the hope of an ETF approval is still driving most of the price interest.

However, not everyone has been pleased with the overwhelming shift in focus of the industry and investment base towards greater regulation. Andreas Antonopoulos, a mainstay figure and one of the most genuine supporters of blockchain and cryptocurrency, claims that the Bitcoin ETF will do more harm than good. Myopic investors, particularly those looking to cryptocurrency as a pathway to fast profit, are hanging on SEC approval of an ETF as the leverage needed to spur ‘institutional investors’: the big Wall Street firms that are waiting for a less murky landscape before they start pouring money in. Cryptocurrency purists see increased regulation as a diversion from the real use of cryptocurrency and adoption for the technology.

Regardless, Barhydt is confident ETF approval will happen sometime in the near future,

“It’s going to happen in the next year, I would actually make a bet on it. There is too much demand for it.”

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