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Bitwise withdraws bitcoin ETF proposal, plans to refile at appropriate time

Thu, 16 Jan 2020, 06:38 am UTC

Bitwise Asset Management has withdrawn its application for its proposed bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), CoinDesk reported.

In a filing dated January 14 with the SEC, the firm requested the withdrawal of its application which was initially filed in January 2019. The bitcoin ETF’s sponsor, NYSE Arca, has also withdrawn the associated 19b-4 filing for the fund, according to the report.

It can be recalled that the SEC had rejected the bitcoin ETF proposal in October, saying that it failed to meet the regulatory requirements to prevent fraudulent and market manipulation activities. However, soon after, the regulator said that it was reviewing its decision.

Matthew Hougan, Bitwise's global head of research, said that they will refile their application for bitcoin ETF at an appropriate time.

"This is the next step towards our long-term goal of bringing a bitcoin ETF to market, and we plan to refile our application at an appropriate time. We are currently working hard on answering the questions that the SEC raised in its 112-page response to our initial filing," said Hougan. "We remain fully committed to the development of a bitcoin [exchange-traded product], and will update you when we have more details on our timeline.”

The SEC has not approved any bitcoin ETFs to date. With Bitwise now withdrawing its application, the regulator is left with just one proposal under review – the bitcoin and U.S. Treasury bond ETF planned by Wilshire Phoenix.

Wilshire Phoenix founder and managing partner William Herrmann said that their ETF has been designed to protect itself from bitcoin’s massive price swings. Herrmann explains that if bitcoin’s volatility increases, the trust will lessen its exposure to bitcoin and increase its exposure to Treasure bills. The opposite occurs when bitcoin’s volatility decreases, CoinDesk reported.

In Dec., the SEC said that it needed time to evaluate the Wilshire Phoenix Bitcoin ETF and postponed the date of its ruling to Feb. 26.

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