SEC Nears Decision on Bitcoin ETFs: Advanced Talks Signal Potential Approval

By Aaron Feuerstein December 08, 2023 In Bitcoin, ETFs, SEC
Source: Adobe Stock
  • Recent detailed discussions between potential issuers and the SEC about Bitcoin ETFs indicate the SEC’s advanced consideration of these ETFs.
  • Despite past rejections, the SEC’s evolving approach to Bitcoin ETFs is now marked by deeper engagement focusing on technical aspects like custody and risk disclosures.
  • Pando Asset AG, a Swiss asset manager, has amended its application for a Spot Bitcoin ETF, but the specific changes made remain unclear.

Potential Issuers Talk With SEC

More fuel for the rally that has been keeping Bitcoin moving this early in the bull run, with more details about the Spot Bitcoin ETFs surfacing. As Reuters reports, discussions between asset managers and the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) indicate that the watchdog is now engaging in more in-depth discussions about Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) than it has in the past. These discussions are focusing on complex technical details such as “custody arrangements, creation and redemption mechanisms, and investor risk disclosures”. This level of dialogue suggests that the SEC is in the advanced stages of considering ETF approval.

SEC Refuses and Delays Applications

Previously, the SEC had consistently rejected Bitcoin ETF applications due to worries about investor protection and the risk of market manipulation. However, their current deeper engagement might signal a shift in their stance or an adaptation to changing market conditions. This change in approach could be partly attributed to a recent court ruling in favour of Grayscale. The court found the SEC’s previous rejection of Grayscale’s application to convert its Bitcoin trust into an ETF was incorrect, influencing the SEC’s current tactics. Nevertheless, the tactics of the SEC appear at best unclear, and at times seem to border on obfuscation, especially as the chair continues to make vague statements.

We’ve had a number of filings, we’re reviewing them carefully, and we’ll continue to do that.

Gary Gensler

The Latest Entrant to The ETF Race

Meanwhile, joining the race for an ETF later than others is Swiss asset manager and Coinbase partner, Pando Asset AG. They filed for a Spot Bitcoin ETF not long ago, but according to Bitcoin Magazine, have just recently filed for an amendment of their application – in a move apparently similar to other applicants.

The ETF, if approved, would trade on the Cboe BZX Exchange with Coinbase as its custodian. Pando Asset’s application aims to use the CME’s CF Bitcoin Reference Rate for Bitcoin pricing. It wasn’t immediately clear at the time of writing what changes Pando has made to its initial application.


Aaron Feuerstein

Aaron Feuerstein

Aaron Feuerstein is a freelance writer based in Melbourne. His focus is on decentralised finance and the regulatory space surrounding blockchain. He holds a Master's in Accounting. When he is not studying the latest legal case, he enjoys his time as a modest but eager hobby cook.

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