The Cboe BZX Exchange has withdrawn a proposed rule change that, if approved, would clear the way for a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) backed by VanEck and SolidX.
In a notice published Wednesday, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) deputy secretary Eduardo Aleman wrote that the Cboe BZX Exchange had pulled its proposed rule change, which would have allowed it to list shares of the VanEck SolidX Bitcoin Trust if approved. The exchange filed its withdrawal on Jan. 22.
The proposal was filed last June, when VanEck, an investment firm, teamed up with financial services provider SolidX to provide a physically-backed bitcoin ETF to the market (other such proposals have relied on bitcoin futures contracts, rather than the cryptocurrency’s price itself).
The SEC delayed any decision on the proposal a number of times, asking for public comment and taking meetings with proponents. The regulator faced a final decision deadline of Feb. 27.
While the notice itself did not provide a reason for the withdrawal, some securities lawyers speculated that the ongoing government shutdown would result in the ETF being denied, as no staffers at the SEC are able to review the proposed rule change. VanEck CEO Jan van Eck reportedly said earlier Wednesday that the proposal was being withdrawn and would be submitted at a later date following continued discussions with the SEC.
In a previous interview with CoinDesk, attorney Ethan Silver, chair of the broker-dealer practice at Lowenstein Sandler, explained that “if [the SEC] were forced to deal with [the proposal], they would sooner deny it than be put in a position [where it is approved on a technicality].”
SEC image via Shutterstock