CBOE seeks SEC approval for Bitcoin ETF

Karthik Subramanian

CBOE has just submitted a filing with the SEC seeking approval for listing and trading of their Bitcoin ETF which comes under the name of Wise Origin Bitcoin Trust.

The filing has been made on 10th May and it remains to be seen how the SEC would view it this time. A similar filing was made by the CBOE a few years back but that filing was not approved by the SEC. With huge interest being generated in Bitcoin and the cryptos in general, it is expected that the SEC might be more favourable this time.

Many exchanges dealing in Bitcoin futures have sprung up over the last few years and these exchanges have seen surging volumes over the last few months. It is only natural that exchanges, that do not deal with Bitcoin futures as yet, eye this and feel that they are missing out on their share of the pie.

Recently, we saw Coinbase, a major crypto exchange, being listed on the NYSE and that generated a lot of buzz in the stock and crypto markets. It is clear that CBOE is also looking to join the bandwagon so that it can get its share of the trading volumes and this would be a big boost for the bitcoin and crypto community as it would lead to even more mainstream adoption.

In their filing, the CBOE has referred to its filing in 2016 and acknowledged that the Bitcoin trading industry was underdeveloped at that time with no regulation surrounding it. There were no regulated offerings at that time and it would have been difficult for the SEC to make a giant leap of faith at that time.

But the filing also acknowledges that things have changed over the years and that bitcoin has been getting more and more adoption among major investors over this period.

The filing states that the notional volume in December 2020 for bitcoin futures at Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) stood at $28 billion which was much greater than the volume of other stock futures like Facebook, JP Morgan etc, which only shows the surging interest in Bitcoin trading. The filing also notes various regulatory changes and approvals that have been made in the crypto world over the last few months which has brought bitcoin trading under regulatory purview.

It also notes the interest among various corporate entities including insurance companies, financial services companies etc who have started viewing bitcoin favourably in their books and they would be looking for a regulated structure for them to trade bitcoin futures with peace of mind. So, the CBOE has requested SEC for approval of their ETF as it would provide a strong, regulated instrument for investors and companies alike to trade bitcoin.

Generally, these kinds of regulatory approvals take their own time in getting approved but considering the lenient view that the current SEC Chief has about crypto and the need for its regulation, this filing and its progress would be watched keenly by the crypto and bitcoin community for a favourable ruling.


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