That institutional grade and retail investors have their eyes focused on the US SEC actions is true. At the center of this is whether the agency and the main US regulator will give a pass for any of the ten Bitcoin Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) application. From what we can gather, the commission are reluctant and in two weeks, they have delayed their decision-making day by an extra three months. The most promising of them all, the VanEck and SolidX Bitcoin ETF proposal, is the latest. In a document released on Tuesday, the regulator said they will take their time and pushed the next decision date to Aug 19th without any other explanation other than “fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices.”
Need of Market Surveillance and Custody
If anything, should the US SEC approve any or all of these Bitcoin ETF application then the market will likely surge as it would be an approval stamp for an emerging asset that is slowly and surely becoming a store of value for individuals as well as economies. Bulgaria is believed to hodl more than 200k Bitcoins and would be a big beneficiary assuming prices rally to 2019 new highs after tanking in 2018.
Earlier, Jay Clayton expressed his reservation saying the unregulated nature of cryptocurrencies allow exchanges to manipulate prices. He urged market players to upgrade, set-up better custody for crypto assets and incorporate monitoring or surveillance tools before they, the SEC, can be comfortable with any Bitcoin ETF. While talking to CNBC, Jay said:
“What investors expect is that trading in the commodity that underlies that ETF makes sense and is free from the risk of manipulation. It’s an issue that needs to be addressed before I would be comfortable. We’ve seen some thefts around digital assets that make you scratch your head. We care that the assets underlying that ETF have good custody, and that they’re not going to disappear”
If the SEC Says Yes, Wall Street Will be Assured
While the investor community cannot doubt the capability of the US regulator and how their endorsement of a Bitcoin investment vehicle can be to the asset prices, most are beginning to lose patience. Even so, some are calling for patience while remaining positive that the agency will eventually approve a Bitcoin ETF. This is so because given the nature of crypto, the oversight from the US SEC on any Bitcoin ETF would allow for large scale investment, leveling the field against any form of manipulation and assuring HNWI.
David Nadig, the managing director of ETF.com, said the agency is still in the information gathering phase adding that despite the what investors or industry players expect from them, they have the powers to extend their delay, be glacial, if all that it takes for them to make sound judgement:
“It is clear the SEC is still in information gathering mode. […] Technically, there are deadlines, but honestly, they [SEC] can do what they want, they can kick this down the road until they are comfortable, it is clear from what we are hearing.”