The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has decided to review the March decision that rejected the Winklevoss twins’ Bitcoin ETF proposal. The denial came after more than three years of effort by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss to gain approval for what would have been the United States’ first Bitcoin exchange-traded fund. That decision denied a requested rule change designed to allow the ETF to be included on the Bats BZX Exchange.
The SEC’s latest decision on the matter came in the form of an Order Granting Petition for Review and Scheduling Filing of Statements, dated April 24, 2017. The review was requested by the Bats exchange in an appeal to the commission.
In the Order, the agency announced that public comment on the proposal will be open until May 15, 2017:
“On March 24, 2017, pursuant to Rule 430 of the Rules of Practice, BZX filed a petition for review of the Disapproval Order. Pursuant to Rule 431 of the Rules of Practice, BZX’s petition for review of the Disapproval Order is granted. Further, the Commission hereby establishes that any party to the action or other person may file a written statement in support of or in opposition to the Disapproval Order on or before May 15, 2017.”
While the review might offer some slim sliver of hope for the ETF proposal, it is important to remember that the fundamental reasons given for the initial denial involved issues that have yet to be resolved. That March decision cited a lack of regulation and proper market surveillance as factors in the agency's rejection of the proposed rule change.