BTC/USD Hovers Below $3,600 as CBOE Withdraws VanEck-SolidX Bitcoin ETF Proposal
Bitcoin’s price maintained a stable trading range on Thursday after the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) pulled its request for a rule change that, if approved, would allow it to list a highly-touted bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF).
BTC/USD Holds Steady
Bitcoin was little changed through the early part of Thursday, as the price continued to hold below $3,600. Aggregate data provided by CoinMarketCap show an average price of $3,593.59, down 0.4% from 24 hours ago.
On individual exchanges, bitcoin traded as low as $3,557 on HitBTC and Bitstamp, and as high as $3,632 on Bitfinex. The hourly chart, which is based on Bitstamp data, highlights weak underlying momentum via the RSI and MACD.
Trading volumes have picked up slightly in the last 24 hours to reach $5.4 billion. Daily turnover has held above $5 billion for the better part of January, which partly reflects a sharp increase in bitcoin’s circulating supply.
In terms of technical levels, bitcoin continues to find strong support at $3,550, which represents a long-term inflection point for the virtual currency. Any break below this level could push prices back down toward multi-year lows. On the opposite side of the ledger, strong resistance is seen in the $3,700-$3,800 range.
CBOE Withdraws Bid for VanEck-SolidX Fund
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) confirmed Wednesday that CBOE was no longer pursuing a rule change that would allow it to list the VanEck-SolidX Bitcoin Fund. The announcement comes less than five weeks before the federal agency was scheduled to deliver a final verdict on the application.
“On January 22, 2019, BZX withdrew the proposed rule change (SR-CboeBZX-2018-040),” SEC Deputy Secretary Eduardo A. Aleman said in an official statement published Wednesday. He nor CBOE elaborated on why the proposal was withdrawn, though the prolonged government shutdown in Washington was likely a factor.
The VanEck-SolidX application was widely believed to have the best chance of passing SEC scrutiny after more than a dozen failed bids by multiple ETF issuers. The proposal stood out for several reasons: it not only vowed to protect investors from fraud and manipulation, it sought to provide a physically-backed fund rather than rely on futures contracts and other derivatives. This means the fund will hold actual bitcoin and be insured against theft or loss.
The application was initially filed in June 2018, though several delays pushed back the SEC’s final verdict until Feb. 27.
As Hacked reported earlier this month, the SEC’s compliance unit has identified cryptocurrencies as one of its strategic priorities for 2019. This means more attention and resources will be devoted to the market over the next 12 months. More on that story: 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.
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