The SEC continues to take extreme caution in deciding on opening the door to Bitcoin Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) which has prompted two former applications, Van Eck and SolidX, to take things into their own hands.
A workaround has been derived by the two firms to offer, from Thursday, shares in a limited version of a crypto exchange-traded fund, according to the Wall Street Journal. This loophole will see the two firms employing a rule that exempts the shares from securities registration, but also means that they will only be available to a selected few institutional investors.
While this will not be the floodgates opening that many – such as the Winklevoss Twins – hope with regards to institutional cash entering the Bitcoin market, it is none-the-less an inching closer to realizing an actual Bitcoin ETF.
The SEC is still sitting on a few applications which it recently said it needed more time to make a decision. Three firms, which include Van Eck and Solid X, will find out if they have been successful in the pursuit of the Bitcoin ETF towards the end of this month and into October.
They will be hoping that this limited offering is just a stop-gap before the real fun begins with a fully regulated and open ETF. However, there will be many who are less optimistic. Since the Winklevoss Twins started with the first application towards the end of 2016, the SEC has been adamant that Bitcoin is not ready.
The limited offering will, however, give the firms the opportunity to test out the demand and interest in their offerings, albeit with muted buyers.
The VanEck SolidX Bitcoin Trust shares would be sold under the SEC’s Rule 144A, which allows for the sale of privately placed securities to “qualified institutional buyers.” Essentially, only hedge funds, brokers and banks will be allowed to buy into this.
However, this is still positive as many feel that the reason a Bitcoin ETF in the US will be such a success is because of the sway and influence fund managers have over individual investors money. If these managers can have a chance at a Bitcoin ETF, it could be the first trickle of new money into the market.
The amount of money involved in ETFs is massive. The market has grown into a $3.9 trillion market, according to research firm XTF.
“They give investors easy access to stocks and bonds, but also some exotic markets, such as commodities and derivatives, and high-risk strategies, in which retail investors may not understand the dangers,” the Wall Street Journal explained highlighting why they seem purpose-built for Bitcoin.