Bitcoin Sees Further Stability as CBOE Resubmits VanEck ETF Application

Bitcoin’s price held within a narrow range on Friday, as calm returned to the cryptocurrency market following a rocky start to the week. In terms of news, VanEck caused quite the stir on Thursday by announcing it had resubmitted its joint proposal with CBOE and SolidX for a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF).

BTC/USD Update

The bitcoin price is currently trading at $3,488.79, having gained 0.8% from the previous close, according to aggregate data provided by CoinMarketCap. On individual exchanges, BTC/USD traded as low as $3,439 on BItstamp and $3,529 on Bitfinex.

Trading volumes have declined steadily over the past 48 hours to reach $5.5 billion. Volumes exceeded $6 billion on Monday as the market fell to six-week lows.

The leading digital currency has seen very little upside since correcting lower earlier this week. A failure to return above $3,550 could invite further downward pressure in the short term.

Bitcoin has posted six consecutive monthly declines. In January, prices fell 7.5%.

At current values, bitcoin has a total market capitalization of $61 billion. That accounts for 53.4% of the entire cryptocurrency market.

Bitcoin ETF Debate Heats Up Again

Gabor Gurbacs, VanEck’s digital asset chief, announced Thursday that his firm was resubmitting its joint application for a bitcoin exchange-traded fund. The filing, which was submitted to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Wednesday, rekindled a growing debate over crypto securitization and its impact on institutional investments.

Interestingly, the resubmittal was made about a week after VanEck and its partners withdrew their application for the same bitcoin ETF. At the time, the proponents said they were working with regulators to build “appropriate market structure frameworks for a bitcoin ETF and digital assets in general.” The prolonged government shutdown in Washington, which was temporarily suspended last Friday, also factored into the decision to withdraw the bid.

The SEC was planning to deliver a final verdict on the product by Feb. 27 but that timeline was in jeopardy due to the shutdown. The fund’s proponents felt that a rejection was probable since the SEC didn’t have the resources to fully evaluate the bid.

The SEC has identified cryptocurrencies as one of its strategic priorities for 2019 and has announced plans to step up compliance and oversight efforts. However, that doesn’t mean the agency is any closer to approving a bitcoin ETF. The VanEck-SolidX application proposes new safeguards to protect investors against fraud and price manipulation. It also aims to hold a repository of physical bitcoin as opposed to futures contracts and other derivatives.

Read more: As Race for Bitcoin ETF Heats Up, SEC Identifies Cryptocurrency as a Top Priority in 2019.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Chief Editor to and Contributor to, Sam Bourgi has spent the past nine years focused on economics, markets and cryptocurrencies. His work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Avid crypto watchers and those with a libertarian persuasion can follow him on twitter at @hsbourgi