SEC acknowledges Fidelity, VanEck, WisdomTree, and Invesco Spot Bitcoin ETF applications

Hassan Shittu
Last updated: | 2 min read
Source: iStock

On July 14, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) acknowledged the spot Bitcoin ETF applications submitted by Fidelity, VanEck, WisdomTree, and Invesco. 

This acknowledgment, published on the SEC’s website, represents a significant milestone in the cryptocurrency industry’s pursuit of spot Bitcoin Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) approval. 

Furthermore, similar acknowledgments were reported today for BlackRock, while companies like ARK Investment and BitWise had received acknowledgments from the regulator before that.

It’s important to understand that this acknowledgment only guarantees the immediate approval or rejection of the applications. 

However, it does signify progress in the application process and a positive step forward. The SEC will now enter a period of deliberation, which is estimated to last around 240 days. 

During this time, the regulatory body holds the authority to make decisions on the funds, including approving, denying, or postponing a decision, as suggested by analysts. 

Additionally, the acknowledgment opens up the opportunity for the public to provide comments on the applications.

The SEC’s historical reluctance to approve a spot BTC ETF has frustrated many market participants.

However, the recent acknowledgment of these applications suggests that the SEC is actively considering the potential of these investment products. 

One of the main concerns raised by the regulator is the susceptibility of Bitcoin’s price to manipulation. 

Despite this, experts believe that investors are keen on accessing such a product because it would enable them to participate in Bitcoin without managing the asset’s custody.

SEC Concerns Prompted Cboe and Coinbase Collaboration for Spot Bitcoin ETFs

The concerns raised by the SEC, as reported by The Wall Street Journal on June 30, 2023, revolve around the lack of clarity in the surveillance-sharing agreements (SSAs) between the asset managers (Fidelity, WisdomTree, VanEck, and Invesco) and the exchanges (Cboe Global Markets or Nasdaq) that would list the ETFs. 

These SSAs are crucial for maintaining market integrity and preventing fraudulent or manipulative trading activities.

To address these concerns, Cboe and Coinbase collaborated to enhance transparency and integrity in the proposed ETFs. 

According to the filing from Nasdaq, the exchange reached an agreement with Coinbase on June 8 regarding a surveillance-sharing agreement. 

Additionally, when Cboe’s BZX Exchange resubmitted its spot Bitcoin ETF applications, it named Coinbase the market for its surveillance-sharing agreement.

In response to this partnership, Fidelity, VanEck, Invesco, and WisdomTree promptly resubmitted their filings on June 30. 

The revised applications explicitly state their intention to enter a surveillance-sharing agreement with Coinbase, Inc.

However, it is essential to note that no spot BTC ETF has been approved in the United States. 

Nonetheless, the efforts made by the asset managers and their partnership with Coinbase demonstrate their commitment to addressing the SEC’s concerns and improving the chances of approval.