The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, has officially disapproved asset manager VanEck’s spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund months after the firm submitted its application.
According to a Nov. 12 filing, the SEC rejected a proposed rule change from the Cboe BZX Exchange to list and trade shares of VanEck’s Bitcoin (BTC) Trust. Specifically, the SEC said any rule change in favor of approving the ETF would not be “‘designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices” nor “protect investors and the public interest.”
“The Commission concludes that BZX has not met its burden under the Exchange Act and the Commission’s Rules of Practice to demonstrate that its proposal is consistent with the requirements of Exchange Act Section,” said the SEC, adding:
“It is essential for an exchange listing a derivative securities product to enter into a surveillance-sharing agreement with markets trading the underlying assets for the listing exchange to have the ability to obtain information necessary to detect, investigate, and deter fraud and market manipulation, as well as violations of exchange rules and applicable federal securities laws and rules.”
The regulatory body had a maximum of 240 days to approve or deny the offering following its publication in the Federal Register on March 19, giving the SEC until Nov. 14 to make a decision after extensions on April 28 and Sept. 8. Industry experts including Bloomberg senior ETF analyst Eric Balchunas said he gave the odds of the SEC approving the VanEck fund at less than 1% given its track record of denying offerings from investment firms with exposure to crypto, a prediction which ultimately came to pass.
“[The SEC] address the inconsistency with not deeming CME a regulated mkt of sig size in spot denial but then approving futures ETFs,” said Balchunas. “It’s such a good point, but SEC doesn’t care. Not having it. Basically logic and reason are trumped by technical legality.”
The impact on the price of Bitcoin saw the crypto asset dip to $62,300 in the last hour before returning to $62,976.
This story is developing and will be updated.