VanEck files with the SEC for an Ethereum ETF as it waits for the regulator to approve its bitcoin fund

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Ether is the cryptocurrency of the Ethereum network.

  • Asset manager VanEck has filed to list an Ethereum exchange-traded fund.
  • The firm is seeking SEC’s permission to list shares of its VanEck Ethereum Trust.
  • The SEC delayed a decision on whether to greenlight VanEck’s bitcoin ETF until July.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Asset manager VanEck is seeking US regulatory approval to launch an Ethereum exchange-traded fund, with the move taking place as the company waits for word on whether it will be able to introduce trading of the first bitcoin ETF in the US.

The VanEck Ethereum Trust would list shares on the Cboe BZX Exchange, according to an S-1 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday.

The firm said the trust, in aiming to reach its investment objective, will hold ether, the currency native to the Ethereum blockchain network, and value its shares daily based on the reported MVIS CryptoCompare Ethereum Benchmark Rate. Ether is the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, behind bitcoin.

VanEck and the Cboe are waiting for the SEC to render a decision on whether it can list a bitcoin ETF, which the asset manager applied for in March. The regulator last week delayed a decision until at least July 17, leaving investors waiting on the US to greenlight the country’s first bitcoin ETF.

Wall Street institutions are increasingly embracing or signaling openness to including cryptocurrency into their operations. This week, S&P Dow Jones index announced the launch of three indices tracking the performance of the bitcoin and ethereum – the S&P Bitcoin Index, S&P Ethereum Index, and the S&P Cryptocurrency MegaCap Index.

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CBOE files for approval to list the first US bitcoin ETF

Bitcoin
Bitcoin.

CBOE Global Markets has filed a request with the US Securities and Exchange Commission seeking approval to list shares of asset manager VanEck’s bitcoin exchange-traded fund, in the latest attempt to launch a bitcoin ETF in the US. 

CBOE on Monday filed a Form 19b-4 seeking permission to list and trade shares of the VanEck Bitcoin Trust. The filing builds on Van Eck’s earlier S-1 filing from December 30. VanEck also filed a proposal in September 2019, which it withdrew.

The form signifies the beginning of the formal review process, which could result in the first US bitcoin ETF. If approved, VanEck’s fund will also be CBOE’s first cryptocurrency product since the exchange holding company halted offering bitcoin futures in February 2019. CBOE in December 2017 was the first regulated financial institution to offer bitcoin futures contracts in the US.

Once the regulator announces that it is reviewing the application, the first 45-day timeline begins, in which the SEC is mandated to either approve or reject the application. It can also extend the review period for up to 240 days.

The SEC in the past has rejected numerous applications for bitcoin ETFs. The CBOE in its filing highlighted the advantages of a bitcoin fund, especially for retail traders.

“Exposure to bitcoin through an ETP [exchange-traded product] also presents certain advantages for retail investors compared to buying spot bitcoin directly. The most notable advantage is the use of the Custodian to custody the Trust’s bitcoin assets.” It did not disclose the name of the custodian.

In North America, two bitcoin ETFs have been approved by Canada, with The Purpose Bitcoin ETF beginning trading last month.

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