The Chicago Board of Exchange (Cboe) is pulling the plug on the SolidX and VanEck bitcoin exchange traded fund (ETF) proposal, adding another twist to a regulatory saga that can’t seem to find an ending.
According to a January 23, 2019, statement from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the exchange operator sent the agency a petition to withdraw its application for a proposed rule change from the SEC’s consideration.
If accepted, the rule change would have given the Cboe clearance to list the world’s first bitcoin ETF, an investment product that software/financial services company SolidX and investment firm VanEck have been painstakingly building over the past few years.
Filed in June of 2018, the attempt was VanEck’s third, and its pending decision had been viewed as the industry’s best chance at securing the its first ETF after an extensive list of failed proposals, including a couple by Gemini’s Winklevoss brothers. The final decision for the ETFs approval had been delayed a few times, but reaching its limit for delays, the SEC was not expected to have made a conclusive decision until February 27, 2019 — nearly a month from now.
The statement did not give any reason for why the application was withdrawn. As America grapples with a more than month-long government shutdown, community chatter has speculated as to how it might affect the ETF approval process. A common misconception became that it would get automatically approved, a falsehood that has been disputed by Twitter’s crypto lawyer community.
Bitcoin Magazine reached out to a VanEck representative for comment but, at the time of publication, has not received a response.