Cryptocurrency asset management firm Bitwise - for now, at least - has withdrawn its bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) proposal.
According to a note submitted to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Tuesday, Bitwise said the move is “consistent with the public interest and protection of investors.”
Matt Hougan, global head of research at Bitwise, confirmed the move to The Block, stating:
“We did indeed withdraw the application. This is a procedural step, and we intend to refile our application at an appropriate time.”
Hougan added that the firm is currently “working hard” on answering the questions that the SEC raised in its 112-page response to its initial filing. “We remain fully committed to the development of a bitcoin ETF.”
Bitwise is yet to determine timelines for the refiling.
The news comes just weeks after Bitwise said it is “committed” to provide all investors with the ability to access bitcoin in a regulated and familiar fund format.
Bitwise first filed its ETF proposal along with NYSE Arca in January 2019. Since then, Bitwise has met with the SEC eight times, Hougan told The Block last month, adding that the firm has also submitted 500 pages of a whitepaper and a presentation on fake volume during the period.
In September, Cboe BZX Exchange also withdrew its VanEck/SolidX bitcoin ETF proposal after facing rejections.
At present, Wilshire Phoenix’s bitcoin and U.S. Treasury bond ETF proposal is the only proposal pending for review with the SEC and is expected to be ruled on by Feb. 26.
Several firms have filed bitcoin ETF proposals, but none has yet got the approval as the SEC remains concerned about market manipulation. Jay Clayton, chairman of the SEC, once said he doesn’t see a pathway to a crypto ETF approval until concerns over market manipulation are addressed.
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