Hope for Bitcoin ETF Revives on New Approval Deadline

Renewed submissions for the Van Eck Bitcoin ETF and the Bitwise Investment Management fund leave the SEC until April to decide on allowing the funds or further delaying its decision.

In a fresh attempt to get a Bitcoin-based exchange-traded fund (ETF) going, both the Van Eck proposal of the CBOE and that of Bitwise Investment Management have been presented again to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The former will be submitted for a decision on Thursday, starting the clock on a 45-day mandatory period for a statement and a decision by the regulator.

The news arrives as Bitcoin (BTC) prices are again struggling to cross $4,000, remaining stuck around the $3,900 level. The launch of an ETF may not increase demand dramatically, but approval may provide regulatory definitions for storage and reliability, paving the way to a more regulated approach. An ETF is seen as having the potential to draw institutional investors, changing the composition and risk of Bitcoin trading.

Along with the proposal of the Gemini platform, the Van Eck ETF application is one of the oldest. In late 2017 and 2018, expectations were for fast approval of the fund. However, the SEC has so far held back clearance for an ETF, citing regulatory uncertainty and the potential for market manipulation.

Besides the ETF ruling, the Bakkt futures exchange is awaiting the verdict of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. The physical delivery futures should provide additional clarity on the matters of storage, custody, and delivery of BTC.

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With the markets seemingly warming up in February, expectations for 2019 are turning optimistic. BTC prices remain range-bound, so the coming months will see the asset at a crossroads, either dropping to new yearly lows or finally staging a rally.

BTC currently has 67% of its volumes against Tether (USDT), and most of the activity is happening against altcoins. Fiat trading has thinned out for digital assets, and stablecoins are gaining more traction.

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