The SEC on Monday delayed its ruling on a proposed bitcoin ETF (exchange-traded fund) from the investment firm VanEck.
It is the third time a decision on the VanEck SolidX Bitcoin Trust has been delayed: VanEck first proposed the investment product in 2018, then withdrew it in January of this year amid the government shutdown; in March the SEC delayed its decision, and on Monday it again delayed its decision. The agency has similarly delayed its decision on a bitcoin ETF from Bitwise Asset Management.
The approval of a bitcoin ETF is seen by some as crucial for bringing institutional credibility to bitcoin investing.
“You don’t necessarily need” the bitcoin ETF
But Andy Bromberg, cofounder of CoinList, which vets and lists cryptocurrency token sales or ICOs (initial coin offerings), says the bitcoin ETF is no longer crucial to bitcoin’s growth anyway.
“I’m not sure the bitcoin ETF matters as much anymore,” Bromberg told Yahoo Finance on Monday before the SEC had announced its postponement. (He also correctly predicted, as many in the crypto community did, that the SEC would either reject the ETF or delay its decision.) “We’re increasingly seeing that retail brokerages are going to offer bitcoin to their clients. Once you see that, once you see this widespread adoption, you don’t necessarily need the ETF anymore.”
Despite Bromberg’s view, there are those who see the continued delay as a sign that government powers like the SEC still view bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in an unfriendly light.
Bitcoin’s recent price hike
And despite ongoing anxiety around the bitcoin ETF approval, the price of bitcoin is up 48% in the past 30 days, buoyed by news about institutions like JPMorgan and Fidelity appearing to embrace crypto trading.
Bromberg puts it simply: “When there’s an excitement about the space, when things are happening, the price tends to go up. And it tends to go down when there’s a lull in the space.”
Over the past month, there has been a flood of news about crypto, more of it positive than negative.
The SEC’s new deadline for a decision on the VanEck bitcoin ETF is Aug. 19. It can delay its decision one more time, until October.
Daniel Roberts covers bitcoin and blockchain at Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter at @readDanwrite.