So far, any attempts to launch a crypto ETF have come across granite at the US Securities and Exchange Commission. It now remains to be seen whether the latest price high will prompt regulators to rethink.
Just in time for the current Bitcoin soaring, there is a new application for a crypto-based ETF. Bitwise, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency fund managers, has launched a new attempt at the US Securities and Exchange Commission. This involves setting up an exchange-traded fund for so-called “crypto innovators”.
Bitwise filed Form N-1A with the Securities and Exchange Commission on February 5, which can be found on the SEC’s website. The application outlines the intention to offer the Bitwise Crypto Innovators ETF. The application defines digital trading platforms, custodian banks and wallets as well as financial service providers who use crypto assets or blockchain technology as “crypto innovators”. Bitwise also includes financial institutions serving customers who work in the field of digital assets and blockchain infrastructure service providers.
This index will therefore consist of 70 percent of companies that draw more than 75 percent of their income from the crypto sector or hold more than 75 percent of their net assets in crypto currencies. The remaining 30 percent comprise large-cap companies that have a “dedicated business initiative” with a focus on cryptocurrencies. Large-cap companies (sometimes called big-cap) typically have market caps between $ 10 billion and $ 200 billion.
Bitwise committee decides on membership
An index committee set up specifically by Bitwise decides on the affiliation of these large-cap companies. The condition is that the crypto engagement can be seen from at least one of the company’s official quarterly or annual reports from the past twelve months. In turn, the ETF itself will not invest in crypto assets directly or via derivatives. The fund will also avoid any initial coin offerings business.
Bitwise has had plans to launch a crypto ETF for some time. In January 2020, however, the fund manager put his long-planned Bitcoin ETF application on hold. The reason: VanEck’s competition had also withdrawn, but recently started a new attempt. VanEck already has a Bitcoin ETN on the German Xetra exchange.
When withdrawing a little over a year ago, Bitwise already announced that it would resubmit the application at a more suitable time if necessary. So far, the SEC has rejected every application, the main argument being the lack of regulation. The only Bitcoin ETF approved by financial authorities is in the Bahamas. But now hopes for approval seem to have risen. Recently, more and more institutions have jumped on the Bitcoin bandwagon. Above all Tesla, which announced earlier this week that it would invest $ 1.5 billion in BTC.