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Bitwise appoints BNY Mellon as transfer agent for proposed bitcoin ETF

Thu, 12 Sep 2019, 04:07 am UTC

Bitwise Asset Management has appointed BNY Mellon as the transfer agent and administrator of its proposed bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF).

In an amendment to its S-1 form filed on Wednesday, the firm listed BNY Mellon as administrator, transfer agent and ETF custodian. In addition, Foreside Fund Services has been appointed as the marketing agent and Cohen & Co. as an auditor.

However, Bitwise has not yet named a bitcoin custodian, which will be responsible for safekeeping the bitcoin owned by the Bitwise Bitcoin ETF Trust, the ETF that will issue shares that trade on the NYSE Arca, subject to regulatory approval.

Speaking to CoinDesk, Bitwise chief operating officer Teddy Fusaro emphasized the critical role played by an ETF’s service providers and added:

“We’re pleased to disclose experienced and professional service providers from the traditional ETF ecosystem we intend to work with to support the proposed product.”

Bitwise filed an initial registration form for the ETF with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in January this year.

The SEC has been extremely cautious regarding these crypto ETFs and has not given its approval to any such fund so far. It has deferred its decision on Bitwise’s proposal a number of times in the past few months. The final decision is now expected by October 13, 2019.

Speaking on CNBC, SEC Chairman Jay Clayton recently said that progress is being made to approve a Bitcoin ETF, but stressed that there is still “work left to be done.”

BNY Mellon, a global investments company, had $35.5 trillion in assets under custody and/or administration, and $1.8 trillion in assets under management as of June 30, 2019. It has been active in the crypto and blockchain space.

Earlier in April, bitcoin futures platform Bakkt announced that it was working with BNY Mellon to offer geographically-distributed storage of private keys secured by the bank.

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