Bitcoin ETF: It's Getting Hot in Here

Everyone who is even remotely interested in cryptocurrencies, has its gaze fixed on the SEC (The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission) in these past couple of days. For those of you who have been living under a rock lately, the date when the SEC gives its opinion on the proposed bitcoin ETF, or exchange-traded fund, is drawing closer.

Source: iStock/RaStudio

An ETF, or exchange-traded fund, would allow the average Joe to buy and sell bitcoin without having to go through an exchange – something that, as everyone hopes, would significantly improve adoption.

The decision is estimated in the coming months, and it has prompted huge amounts of media attention and waves of internet memes. Google trends are showing that the general public's overall interest in the ETF has exploded, reaching highs it hasn't seen since late 2017.

In the past, the SEC has turned down several ETF proposals. The cryptoverse hope that this time (a new proposal filed through the Chicago Board of Exchange (CBOE) by New York-based VanEck and blockchain platform SolidX) things might be different.

The bitcoin ETF is "nearly certain" later this year, the ICO Journal reported, citing two undisclosed sources. One source is from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, while the second source is a former SEC employee who left the regulator two weeks ago.

"In January we were justifiably concerned about a bubble and the harm a quickly approved product could attract speculators and create losses that led to significant lawsuits. Now, those factors seem to be mitigated significantly,” according to the first source. While the second source expects a positive outcome in September, "or if it gets strung out a little further it is simply a few ‘dotted i’s and crossed t’s’ are being finalized on larger regulatory language in the crypto space."

However, Bloomberg, for example, reports that we have bigger chances to land on Jupiter, than to see a bitcoin ETF launch in the US this year. According to the report, the SEC is tentative and slow, and it's just a matter of time before Canada steps in and scoops the pool. Bloomberg says the SEC asked the industry to withdraw original ETF requests, and sent out a letter to the fund industry, containing 31 questions about liquidity, valuation and security. It wants to have these answered before any new requests are filed.

"Leveraged Bitcoin ETFs would almost certainly be the most volatile ETFs on the market and likely approved only after non-leveraged ones," it writes. "Inverse ETFs would allow for the shorting of Bitcoin, without the risk of losing more than 100% of the investment."

At the same tame, the cryptoverse is growing restless.

This summer, the SEC asked the community for their comments about the Bitcoin ETF and it has received hundreds of replies. A few examples below:

Also, internet memes are mushrooming. While some are posting pictures of John F. Kennedy, clearly hinting at the moon, others are posting gifs of bitcoin killing altcoins, hinting at the recent price surge that does not seem to have affected the altcoins.

Whatever happens, one thing is for certain – the wild crypto ride of 2018 is certainly not over yet.