US SEC delays decision on Invesco, WisdomTree, Valkyrie bitcoin ETFs

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Bitcoins are seen in this illustration picture

Bit­coins are seen in this illus­tra­tion pic­ture tak­en Sep­tem­ber 27, 2017. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Pho­to Acquire Licens­ing Rights

Aug 31 (Reuters) — The U.S. Secu­ri­ties and Exchange Com­mis­sion (SEC) has delayed a deci­sion on whether to approve appli­ca­tions for spot bit­coin exchange-trad­ed funds (ETF) from Invesco (IVZ.N), Wis­domTree (WT.N) and Valkyrie, a fil­ing by the reg­u­la­tor showed on Thursday.

The SEC has pushed back the deci­sion dates for the three pro­pos­als by sev­er­al weeks to mid-Octo­ber, but could poten­tial­ly delay fur­ther. It was pre­vi­ous­ly due to make a deci­sion by next week.

The delay comes just two days after a fed­er­al appeals court ruled on Tues­day that the SEC was wrong to reject an appli­ca­tion from Grayscale Invest­ments to cre­ate a spot bit­coin ETF. A three-judge pan­el of the Dis­trict of Colum­bia Court of Appeals in Wash­ing­ton said the reg­u­la­tor failed to ful­ly explain its rea­son­ing when deny­ing Grayscale’s product.

The rul­ing requires the SEC to review Grayscale’s appli­ca­tion, mean­ing there is no cer­tain­ty it will reach a dif­fer­ent con­clu­sion and green-light the prod­uct. The reg­u­la­to­ry agency, which on Tues­day said it was study­ing the rul­ing, could appeal.

The SEC has in recent years reject­ed dozens of appli­ca­tions for spot bit­coin ETFs, pub­licly trad­ed invest­ment vehi­cles that direct­ly track bit­coin prices, cit­ing inad­e­quate lev­els of trad­ing sur­veil­lance that could leave the under­ly­ing spot mar­ket sub­ject to fraud and manipulation.

In June, Black­Rock (BLK.N), the world’s biggest asset man­ag­er, also filed for a spot bit­coin ETF, a move that many viewed as a game-chang­er for the indus­try which and boost­ed the price of bitcoin.

Report­ing by Han­nah Lang in Washington
Edit­ing by Matthew Lewis

Our Stan­dards: The Thom­son Reuters Trust Principles.

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Han­nah Lang cov­ers finan­cial tech­nol­o­gy and cryp­tocur­ren­cy, includ­ing the busi­ness­es that dri­ve the indus­try and pol­i­cy devel­op­ments that gov­ern the sec­tor. Han­nah pre­vi­ous­ly worked at Amer­i­can Banker where she cov­ered bank reg­u­la­tion and the Fed­er­al Reserve. She grad­u­at­ed from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Mary­land, Col­lege Park and lives in Wash­ing­ton, DC. 

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