The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has once again delayed its decision on the approval of spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs), despite calls from United States Representatives Mike Flood, Wiley Nickel, Tom Emmer, and Ritchie Torres to immediately approve the listing. This news follows the SEC’s previous delay in making decisions on spot Ether ETFs from VanEck and ARK 21Shares, pushing the deadlines to December and January respectively.
The SEC also delayed decisions on spot Bitcoin ETF applications from Invesco, Bitwise, and Valkyrie until mid-January. These delays have come earlier than the expected deadline date of October 16-19, causing uncertainty for the applicants. It is speculated that the timing of the delays may be related to the narrowly avoided U.S. government shutdown, which could have disrupted the regulators and federal agencies.
Bitwise Asset Management, a prominent player in the crypto space, responded to the delay of its spot Bitcoin ETF by amending its application and addressing the SEC’s objections to the product. In the amended application, Bitwise engaged with the SEC’s concerns regarding the “mixed” or “inconclusive” academic record on the lead-lag relationship between BTC futures and spot markets. The company aims to provide additional evidence and arguments to convince the SEC of the viability of its ETF.
In other news, a Chinese court has recognized Bitcoin as a unique and non-replicable digital asset, acknowledging its scarcity and inherent value. The Shanghai No.2 Intermediate People’s Court stated in its report that Bitcoin stands out as different and unique from other digital assets due to its key currency features such as scalability, ease of circulation, storage, and payment.
Meanwhile, Taiwan’s Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) has formulated guidelines for virtual asset service providers (VASPs) operating in the country. These guidelines include industry-wide rules like separating exchange treasury assets from customer assets and reviewing mechanisms for listing and delisting virtual assets. The FSC also requires foreign VASPs to obtain necessary approvals before providing their services in Taiwan, prohibiting unregistered foreign crypto exchanges from operating within the country.
Additionally, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) of Hong Kong has announced plans to publish a list of licensed, deemed licensed, closing down, and application-pending virtual asset trading platforms (VATPs). This move aims to help the public identify potentially unregulated VATPs operating in Hong Kong. The SFC also plans to keep a dedicated list of “suspicious VATPs” on its website, following the recent JPEX crypto exchange scandal, which has been described as one of the worst cases of financial fraud in the region.
Overall, these developments highlight the ongoing regulatory challenges and uncertainties surrounding cryptocurrencies and their related financial instruments. The decisions and actions taken by regulatory bodies like the SEC, Chinese courts, and financial authorities in Taiwan and Hong Kong have significant implications for the future of digital assets and their mainstream adoption. Market participants and stakeholders eagerly await the SEC’s final decision on spot Bitcoin ETFs and closely monitor the regulatory landscape for further developments.