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The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) extended a rule change proposal allowing the nation’s first bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF), pushing the decision deadline to next year.
In a notice posted online, the securities regulator said it was extending the review period for the ETF to Feb. 27, 2019. The proposal was first submitted by money manager VanEck and blockchain startup SolidX, who partnered with the Cboe exchange earlier this year.
Under SEC rules, a decision on the proposal cannot be delayed any further, meaning the next notice must either approve or reject the ETF.
The decision comes after months of uncertainty as a number of previous ETF proposals were rejected by the SEC, most notably in August when the regulator simultaneously rejected nine proposals submitted by ProShares, GraniteShares and Direxion. The rejections were suspended the next day when the SEC announced it would review all of the proposals.
It later reopened a comment period, giving the general public until November 6 to share any new statements in support of or against allowing the ETFs to be approved.
The VanEck/SolidX proposal differs from the others in that its value is dependent on bitcoin itself, rather than futures markets like the other nine.
The SEC similarly reopened a comment period for this proposal, designating October 17 as the deadline for any statements and October 31 as the deadline for any rebuttals.
To date, it has received more than 1,600 comments, Thursday’s notice said.
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