Cboe resubmits Bitcoin ETFs, incorporating Coinbase surveillance

abdelaziz Fathi

Cboe Global Markets has refilled five Bitcoin (BTC) Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF) applications to add a surveillance-sharing agreement (SSA) with the US’s largest crypto venue, Coinbase.

In the revised filings, Coinbase has been included as part of the surveillance-sharing agreement for the ETF applications of Invesco, VanEck, WisdomTree, Fidelity, and the joint fund by ARK Invest and 21Shares, as submitted to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Cboe stated that it has “reached an agreement on terms with Coinbase” to enter into the SSAs, which were finalized on June 21. The initial filings for the ETFs indicated that the parties were anticipating entering into an SSA before potentially offering the ETFs.

Some reports suggested that Cboe’s previous filings were considered “inadequate” by the SEC. However, upon closer examination, the agency’s request was primarily for updated language and more detailed information, and no definitive decisions had been made regarding the merits of the ETF applications.

These SSAs are an effort to comply with the SEC’s standards, which are designed to prevent fraudulent activities and safeguard investors.

“[An exchange needs] a comprehensive surveillance-sharing agreement with a regulated market of significant size related to the underlying or reference bitcoin assets,” the regulator outlined these standards on March 10.

Cboe’s fresh proposal come a few weeks after BlackRock filed for its own spot bitcoin ETF, despite facing historical opposition from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Its entry into the crypto market was seen as a further sign of the growing acceptance of digital assets in the traditional investment world.

The agency is yet to approve a bitcoin spot ETF application as it remains concerned about potential fraud and manipulative practices in the cryptocurrency space.

The SEC has previously rejected or postponed other applications for bitcoin ETFs, but recently gave the greenlight to two bitcoin futures-based ETFs, leading to speculation that it could approve a spot vehicle.

Following BlackRock’s filing, other firms have perceived the move as an indication that the SEC’s stance on bitcoin ETFs may be changing. Consequently, companies like WisdomTree, VanEck, Invesco, and Ark Invest (led by Cathie Wood) have taken initial steps towards launching their own bitcoin ETFs. In fact, Ark Invest recently filed for changes to its proposed bitcoin fund to align it more closely with BlackRock’s application.

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