Analysis

A Bitcoin ETF is on its way – really.

This according to a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commissioner who thinks a Bitcoin ETF will eventually become a reality. Commissioner Robert J Jackson Jr. expressed optimism about a Bitcoin ETF being on the horizon during an interview with Congressional Quarterly. It wasn’t slated to be made public until Feb. 11.

Regardless, details of the interview are already out after being leaked. Twitter user Drew Hinkes, from an outfit called Athena Blockchain, relayed the news via the social media platform.

Commissioner Spills the ETF Beans

Jackson told the Congressional Quarterly about how hard it is to get the SEC’s blessings of the SEC when it comes to investment vehicles like exchange-traded funds.

He said:

“Getting the stamp of approval from the deepest and most liquid capital markets in the world is hard, and it should be. Once we put the stamp of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission on an investment; once we make it available to everyday mom and pop investors, we are taking risks that Americans can get hurt.”

Bitcoin ETF Applicants Lining Up At the SEC’s Door

Jackson also addressed the various Bitcoin-related ETF applications the SEC has receives. This includes those from the Winklevoss twins – Cameron and Tyler – and the Cboe.

“I’m happy to say market participants have begun to come in with ideas. Whether or not we’re going to find one that really protects investors I don’t know, but I do know that that case wasn’t especially close.”

The Cboe at the end of January resubmitted its application for its VanEck SolidX Bitcoin Trust, which would allow wealthy traders and institutions to invest in bitcoin through a convenient — and familiar — investment vehicle.

CCN reported that the head of the trust, Gabor Gurbacs, announced via Twitter that its ETF was the product of “[h]ard work from all teams involved.” The Cboe withdrew the application on Jan. 23 after the U.S. government shutdown threw a monkey wrench in plans.

As that wrangling continues, Jackson said:

“Eventually, do I think someone will satisfy the standards that we’ve laid out there? I hope so, yes, and I think so.”

Crypto Space Becomes SEC Priority

In January, the SEC put out a list of its priorities for 2019, and on the list are cryptos.

CCN reported that the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) would head the effort. It will keep an eye out for such things as the ‘offer and sale, trading, and management of digital assets’.

Here’s an excerpt from the OCIE’s statement on the matter:

OCIE will take steps to identify market participants offering, selling, trading, and managing these products or considering or actively seeking to offer these products and then assess the extent of their activities. For firms actively engaged in the digital asset market, OCIE will conduct examinations focused on, among other things, portfolio management of digital assets, trading, safety of client funds and assets, pricing of client portfolios, compliance, and internal controls.

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