215 Interactions, 2 Today
Regulatory uncertainty may cause further delays in the approval of long-awaited Bitcoin exchange-traded products.
According to Todd Rosenbluth, senior director of exchange-traded funds (ETF) and mutual fund research at research firm CFRA, crypto asset investors may have to wait longer for a Bitcoin (BTC) futures exchange-traded product.
Speaking on CNBC’s ETF Edge on Tuesday, Rosenbluth stated that while a Bitcoin futures product is likely to be the first crypto ETF to gain approval, he cautioned that the current clouded regulatory situation could cause further delays.
More than 20 crypto asset-based exchange-traded products are awaiting approval from the US Securities and Exchange Commission, and the regulator has yet to issue any, instead repeatedly kicking the can down the road.
The researcher speculated that regulators may be waiting for all of these products to meet their objectives so that they can all be approved at the same time in order to avoid a “first-mover advantage,” before adding:
“It’s possible — in fact, we think it’s likely — that we’re going to see a delay of a Bitcoin futures ETF until 2022 until the regulatory environment is more clear.”
Van Eck Associates CEO Jan van Eck commented that the primary concern for the SEC is the discrepancy between actual Bitcoin prices and the price of the futures contract, in addition to the potential of funds getting too large.
When there is a Bitcoin rally, futures strategies can underperform by as much as 20% a year, he stated before adding, “The SEC wants to have some visibility into the underlying Bitcoin markets.”
Van Eck also suggested that the regulator needs more control over cryptocurrency trading, which it appears to be attempting with its recent threats against Coinbase and the exchange’s stablecoin lending product. Robinhood and other popular trading platforms are already regulated and registered as broker-dealers.
Analysts have suggested that big investors may be buying up BTC in anticipation of an ETF approval this month, so any speculation about a possible delay could hurt Bitcoin’s price. The asset has gained 37.5 percent in the last two weeks, reaching a local high of $58,000 on Tuesday, but more regulatory delays could derail current market momentum.
Bloomberg senior ETF analyst Eric Balchunas believes that an ETF will be approved this month with a 75 percent chance.
The SEC extended the deadline for four BTC ETFs — Global X Bitcoin Trust, Valkyrie XBTO Bitcoin Futures Fund, WisdomTree Bitcoin Trust, and Kryptoin Bitcoin ETF — by 45 days earlier this month.
The SEC delayed VanEck’s physically backed Bitcoin ETF for the second time this year in September, with a decision date set for Nov. 14.