Cboe files with the SEC to list Fidelity’s bitcoin ETF as the number of firms seeking approval grows

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The Chicago Board Options Exchange has applied with the US Securities and Exchange Commission Monday to list Fidelity’s Wise Origin Bitcoin exchange-traded fund, according to a Form 19b-4.

Fidelity in March applied to launch an ETF to track the performance of bitcoin. The fund will hold bitcoin and value its shares based on prices from major cryptocurrency exchanges such as Coinbase and Bitstamp, according to a regulatory filing.

Cboe’s acknowledgment to be Fidelity’s exchange partner moves the application process with the SEC, CoinDesk first reported.

An exchange partner such as Cboe BZX Exchange or the New York Stock Exchange is necessary to file a Form 19b-4. Only then will the SEC review the application.

The agency will now have to respond with a decision to reject or accept the application within 45 days. The SEC has 240 days to evaluate the application in total.

The SEC in the past has rejected every cryptocurrency ETF that has applied, which now total to nearly a dozen.

Most recently, asset manager VanEck applied to launch an ethereum ETF. The VanEck Ethereum Trust would list shares on the Cboe, according to an S-1 filing.

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 delayed a decision until at least July 17.

Still, experts believe that with the SEC’s new chairman Gary Gensler, who used to be an MIT Sloan School of Management professor teaching blockchain technology, the US will soon have its first-ever cryptocurrency ETF.

“I feel like it’s inevitable. It’s no longer ‘if’ but ‘when’ and I think the question of when is probably in 2021. That’s my prediction,” Dante Perruccio, president international of Wave Financial, a US-regulated digital asset manager, told Insider.

In Canada, the first publicly traded ETF, the Purpose Bitcoin ETF, has been approved, as well as ethereum ETFs. Brazilian regulators have reportedly approved two bitcoin ETFs.

The surge in interest in cryptocurrency ETFs rides on the skyrocketing prices of cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin this year has climbed 95% year to date, ether 380%, and dogecoin around 13,000%.

Read more: Fundstrat’s head of digital assets research walks us through his $100,000 and $10,500 year-end price targets for bitcoin and ether – and shares the 8 tokens he’s bullish on

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Billionaire Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital is the 9th firm to apply for a bitcoin ETF

Michael Novogratz, President of Fortress Investment Group, speaks  at the annual Skybridge Alternatives Conference (SALT) in Las Vegas May 6, 2015.   REUTERS/Rick Wilking
Michael Novogratz.

  • Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital is the latest firm to apply for a bitcoin ETF with the SEC.
  • The New York-based digital asset bank is already a sub-advisor to an active bitcoin ETF in Canada.
  • Regulators are weighing similar applications from eight other firms including Grayscale and SkyBridge.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

Galaxy Digital, a crypto asset bank run by billionaire Mike Novogratz, filed for approval to launch a bitcoin exchange-traded fund on Monday, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

The submitted S-1 form is an initial registration filing used by companies that intend to publicly register their securities.

Galaxy intends for its ETF to trade on the NYSE Arca, according to the filing. The fund has not yet named an ETF custodian, so it’s likely that amended filings will be submitted in due course. The firm already acts as a sub-advisor to a publicly-traded bitcoin ETF in Canada – the CI Galaxy Bitcoin ETF.

As of March 31, the fund holds about $1 billion in assets under management. Galaxy only lately appointed Alex Ioffe, formerly a finance chief at Virtu Financial, as its new CFO.

Billionaire Mike Novogratz recently said he expects bitcoin to overtake gold’s market value as more institutional players enter the space. “The more people involved in this space, the more big firms, if it’s Tesla, or MicroStrategy, or Goldman, or Morgan Stanley, the more wealthy individuals – the harder it is politically to say ‘hey we don’t like this anymore’,” he said.

The race is heating up as Galaxy follows eight other firms in applying for a bitcoin ETF. Regulators are weighing applications from Grayscale Investments, Fidelity, VanEck, Anthony Scaramucci’s SkyBridge Capital, WisdomTree Investments, NYDIG, and Valkyrie Digital Assets.

But it’s unclear when the SEC might approve any applications, or whether it could happen at all.

SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce, popularly known as the “crypto mom,” has cited a period of leadership transition that’s causing delays. But she is optimistic that SEC Chairman nominee Gary Gensler will mark a turning point for crypto regulation in the US this year.

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