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The Chicago Board Options Exchange 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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