On Monday, Cboe filed a Form 19b-4 on behalf of Fidelity’s Wise Origin Bitcoin Trust ETF, meaning they intended to list the ETF on their exchange.
Fidelity originally filed its prospectus in March. However, this most recent filing by Cboe begins the official 45-day review process for the SEC to approve, deny, or extend its consideration of the application.
The SEC can extend its evaluation period for a maximum of 240 days before making a final judgment; historically, the SEC has taken all 240 days before announcing any decision.
See Also: The Race to the First Bitcoin ETF
The Fidelity Wise Origin Bitcoin ETF is unique in that is almost entirely self-serviced. Fidelity and Fidelity affiliates would be custodian administrator and sponsor, and the fund would even use an in-house benchmark: the Fidelity Bitcoin Index.
Investors have been hopeful that given the appointment of Gary Gensler as SEC Chairman, the commission will be primed to potentially approve a Bitcoin ETF for the first time. Gensler is a known cryptocurrency expert, having taught classes at MIT about blockchain and the various aspects of crypto.
However, recent Gensler comments to Congress, as well as a May 11 letter from the SEC’s Division of Investment Management on bitcoin futures investment, are casting doubts on any potential approvals, at least for the time being.
In a recent CNBC interview, Gensler made it clear that he believes there needs to be more regulations for crypto assets to protect against fraud and volatility. He added that the SEC should remain “technology neutral.”
There are currently 8 Bitcoin ETFs and 1 Ethereum ETF before the SEC. Four Bitcoin ETF applications aside from Fidelity’s have also included 19b-4 forms filed on their behalf.
At the end of April, the SEC pushed back its review of VanEck’s application until mid-June.
Like the Fidelity ETF, the VanEck Bitcoin Trust ETF would also be listed on Cboe, along with the WisdomTree Bitcoin ETF and the Kryptoin Bitcoin ETF Trust.
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