SEC delays decision on Hashdex ETH fund, WisdomTree amends Bitcoin ETF
The approval of a regulated crypto derivative is still looking far less likely, as the US regulators have once again deferred their decision on whether to approve any of the proposed ETFs.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has opted to extend the decision-making timeline for the proposed Hashdex Nasdaq Ethereum ETF, which aims to include both spot ether and futures contracts. The SEC cited the need for additional time to thoroughly assess the proposed rule change and related concerns.
The decision on whether to approve, disapprove, or initiate proceedings will now be made by January 1, 2024. Additionally, the SEC also postponed a decision on converting an application for a Hashdex bitcoin futures ETF. The Hashdex Nasdaq Ethereum ETF was initially filed by the Nasdaq stock exchange in September and is managed by Toroso Investments.
Hashdex, a Brazil-based crypto asset manager, rolled out a physically-backed exchange-traded product (ETP) that tracks the performance of avalanche, bitcoin, cardano, ether, litecoin, polkadot, polygon and solana. The ETP is listed on Switzerland’s SIX Swiss Exchange in Zurich, and provides simple exposure to Nasdaq’s Crypto Index Europe (NCIE). The offering is 100% physically backed by actual crypto assets and the staked coins will be stored in a secure custodian.
Hashdex is said to have more than 250,000 institutional and private investors that use its products globally, as well as close to $1 billion in assets under management. The crypto asset manager has over 90 team members from both the tech and financial worlds across Rio de Janeiro, New York, and Zurich.
In a separate development, global ETF provider WisdomTree has submitted an amended Form S-1 spot Bitcoin ETF prospectus to the SEC on November 16. This follows WisdomTree’s refiling of its spot Bitcoin ETF application in June 2023.
The proposal suggests a rule change to list and trade shares of the WisdomTree Bitcoin Trust on the BZX Exchange by the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE). The updated prospectus indicates that the WisdomTree Bitcoin Trust ETF, trading under the ticker symbol BTCW, will have Coinbase Custody Trust as the custodian holding the trust’s Bitcoin.
Bloomberg ETF analyst James Seyffart notes that this filing signals WisdomTree’s ongoing plans to launch an ETF, with discussions ongoing with the SEC.
WisdomTree amended its application back in December after the agency rejected its proposal for an ETF that would invest directly in bitcoin. As part of the changes, the company said its product would use US Bank as a qualified custodian, hoping such a tweak will win its bitcoin exchange-traded fund application the SEC’s blessing.