Bitcoin Shrugs Off SEC’s Delay of VanEck/SolidX ETF

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued an order to launch proceedings on whether or not to approve the widely anticipated VanEck/SolidX bitcoin ETF on the CBOE. The announcement comes just days before what was supposed to be a Sept. 30 deadline for the Wall Street regulator to make a call on a proposed rule change that would clear the way for the product, a date that was also postponed. The market seems to be getting used to it with traders shrugging off the latest delay.

Shortly after the SEC updated its progress, the bitcoin price dipped modestly. But since then, top cryptocurrencies are higher in unison on something that has been missing in past rallies – robust volume. In the last 24 hours, bitcoin’s volume is at nearly $5.6 billion while No. 2 crypto Ethereum is trading on volume of $2.2 billion.

Source: TradingView

ETF Comments

Some 1,400 comment letters surrounding the passive investment product have poured into the SEC’s office. Rather than make a decision based on those, the regulator is seeking more context:

“[The] Commission seeks and encourages interested persons to provide comments on the proposed rule change,” according to the SEC document.

Chief among the regulator’s concerns is manipulation of the bitcoin price, which the CBOE believes it has mechanisms in place to reduce the potential for. If the bitcoin ETF were to launch on the CBOE, the exchange anticipates that it will bolster both the liquidity and transparency of the bitcoin market as hedge funds and other big investors jump in.

Michael Novogratz, a former hedge fund trader who is now running Galaxy Digital, believes it’s only a matter of time before banks enter the market as they catch “fear of missing out.” He said at the Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit” at which he was the “lone crypto voice:”

“I think institutions are moving towards investing. Its shocking how much has happened.”

Meanwhile, individuals have 21 days to make their case to the SEC about the VanEck bitcoin ETF, while any rebuttals must be submitted within 35 days. Should a bitcoin ETF get approved before year-end, it could have a similar effect on the market as the bitcoin futures inspired rally of 2017.

The market is either interpreting the SEC’s update as a positive sign or has become more immune to the slow process. It used to be that traders waited on pins and needles for the bitcoin ETF decision, as evidenced by the bitcoin price’s weakness over the summer in response to the Gemini bitcoin ETF product denials. But clearly, that’s not the case today, with the bitcoin price trading above $6,700 and the combined market value headed toward $222 billion.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Gerelyn has been covering ICOs and the cryptocurrency market since mid-2017. She's also reported on fintech more broadly in addition to asset management, having previously specialized in institutional investing. She owns some BTC and ETH.