CBOE Files Six Bitcoin ETFs This Week, According to SEC Records

The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) has submitted formal plans to list bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs), according to the SEC’s public filing system. The move comes as multiple exchanges and companies seek out regulatory approval to bring bitcoin to the mainstream via traditional investment vehicles.

CBOE Submits Proposed Rule Changes

According to CBOE’s website, the exchange has proposed rule changes to the SEC that would allow it to list six bitcoin-related ETFs. The pending rule changes would pave the way for CBOE to offer the following ETFs:

  • First Trust Bitcoin Strategy ETF
  • First Trust Inverse Bitcoin Strategy ETF
  • GraniteShares Bitcoin ETF
  • GraniteSharesShort Bitcoin ETF
  • REX Bitcoin Strategy ETF
  • REX Short Bitcoin Strategy ETF

The rule changes were submitted to the SEC between Dec. 15-19, public records show.

CBOE has led the charge in bringing bitcoin to institutional investment circles. On Dec. 11, the firm launched the first bitcoin futures contract, outpacing CME Group by seven days.

The recently filed ETFs would track the price of bitcoin futures rather than the underlying cryptocurrency.

Despite the SEC’s approval of bitcoin futures, ETFs may be a tougher sell. The regulator already struck down a bitcoin ETF proposed by Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss. The SEC disapproved the  filing on several grounds, including inadequate regulation and the inability to enter necessary surveillance-sharing agreements. In particular, the Winklevoss ETF failed to satisfy conditions listed under Section 6(b)(5) of the Exchange Act, which protects against fraudulent and manipulative trade practices.

CBOE has made its intention known that it seeks to provide more mainstream exposure to bitcoin. CBOE President Chris Concannon recently told Bloomberg that his firm envisions bitcoin ETFs “coming to market” sooner rather than later.

NYSE Files to List Bitcoin ETF

Earlier this week, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) filed with the SEC to list a pair of ProShares bitcoin ETFs. The ProShares Bitcoin ETF and the ProShares Bitcoin ETF would allow traders to bet on futures contracts tied to the digital asset. According to CNBC, the funds would track either the CBOE or CME bitcoin futures contracts.

ProShares submitted its documents to the SEC back in September to list the two ETF.

“By being long Bitcoin Futures Contracts, the Fund seeks to benefit from daily increases in the price of the Bitcoin Futures Contracts,” the SEC filing said. “The Fund will not be benchmarked to the current price of bitcoin and will not invest directly in bitcoin. When the price of Bitcoin Futures Contracts held by the Fund declines, the Fund will lose value.”

Bitcoin ETFs are widely expected to broaden investor access to the digital asset class. Theoretically, bitcoin ETFs would be accessible to millions of investors through retirement accounts, such as 401(k)s.

The global ETF market is worth more than $4.3 trillion, a figure that will rise steadily in coming years as more people seek out the diversification and cost-saving benefits of these funds.

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 Hacked.com and Contributor to CCN.com, 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