UPDATE: The SEC has also disapproved two bitcoin ETFs from GraniteShares. The order can be found here.


The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued rejections to bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETFs) proposals from ProShares, Direxion and GraniteShares.

In three orders published on August 22, the rejections came ahead of previously reported deadlines arising from the SEC’s public-facing approval process.

Notably, the agency used the exact same reasoning – and wording – in all of its rejections.

The agency wrote in the case of ProShares:

“…the Commission is disapproving this proposed rule change because, as discussed below, the Exchange has not met its burden under the Exchange Act and the Commission’s Rules of Practice to demonstrate that its proposal is consistent with the requirements of the Exchange Act Section 6(b)(5), in particular the requirement that a national securities exchange’s rules be designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices.”

And in the case of Direxion’s five proposed ETFs:

“…the Commission is disapproving this proposed rule change because, as discussed below, the Exchange has not met its burden under the Exchange Act and the Commission’s Rules of Practice to demonstrate that its proposal is consistent with the requirements of the Exchange Act Section 6(b)(5), in particular the requirement that a national securities exchange’s rules be designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices.”

In all instances, the SEC stressed that it “emphasizes that its disapproval does not rest on an evaluation of whether bitcoin, or blockchain technology more generally, has utility or value as an innovation or an investment.”

Similar language was also used in the GraniteShares rejection as well.

The rejections come mere weeks after SEC commissioners completed a review on a proposed bitcoin ETF from investors Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, whose multi-year effort was dashed after a majority of the SEC’s commissioners backed up the agency’s original March 2017 decision.

One commissioner, Hester Peirce, dissented that decision, later telling ExposedCrypto in an interview that the move to block a bitcoin ETF is a disservice to both investors and innovators.

The SEC image via Shutterstock

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