SEC Begins Soliciting Comments On Bitcoin Investment Trust

Just two short weeks after Barry Silbert filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to list the Bitcoin Investment Trust (BIT), the Commission is now soliciting comments from interested persons regarding the proposed listing.

Also read: Needham: Probability of Approval for a Bitcoin ETF ‘Very Low’ 

SEC Soliciting Comments

On January 20, Barry Silbert filed a registration statement with the SEC to list his flagship SEC Begins Soliciting Comments On Bitcoin Investment Trustinvestment product, the BIT, on the NYSE Arca exchange. The following week, the exchange promptly filed with the Commission proposing “to list and trade shares” of the BIT.

Then, on Friday, the SEC published a notice “to solicit comments on the proposed rule change from interested persons”. The notice reads:

Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views and arguments concerning the foregoing, including whether the proposed rule change is consistent with the Act.

Comments may be submitted either online, by email, or on paper. File Number SR-NYSEArca-2017-06 must be referenced. All comments will be posted on the SEC website.

This is the second Bitcoin trust that seeks to list on the NYSE Arca. The first was SolidX Bitcoin Trust. According to the SEC, only seven comments were received for SolidX.

How Long Does the SEC Have?

The proposed rule change has not yet been published in the Federal Register, which is the next step of the process.

The SEC took two weeks to start soliciting comments for both SolidX and the BIT after their initial filings.SEC Begins Soliciting Comments On Bitcoin Investment Trust

For SolidX, the Commission started soliciting comments on July 27, 2016, and published the proposed rule change less than a week later in the Federal Register on August 2, 2016. If SolidX is any indication, then the BIT’s proposed rule change should be published in the Federal Register sometime next week.

According to the Commission, once published in the Federal Register, it will have 45 days from the date of publication, or up to 90 days if it finds a reason for the extension. By that time, the Commission will make a decision to either approve or disapprove the proposed rule change, or it will “institute proceedings to determine whether the proposed rule change should be disapproved,” the SEC wrote about both the BIT and SolidX.

SEC Usually Needs Lots of Time to Decide

Regardless of the 45 or 90-day initial time frame, the Commission has extended the consideration period repeatedly for SolidX.

Finally, on January 3 this year, the Commission announced that it “finds it appropriate to SEC Begins Soliciting Comments On Bitcoin Investment Trustdesignate a longer period within which to issue an order approving or disapproving the proposed rule change so that it has sufficient time to consider this proposed rule change.” It then designated March 30, 2017, as the date by which the proposed rule change for SolidX should either be approved or disapproved, which is 240 days from the date of the publication in the Federal Register.

As with SolidX, the Commission could take 240 days from the Federal Register publication date to decide on the BIT’s listing, which would likely be in early October.

However, experts are predicting little chance of any Bitcoin trusts being approved by the SEC. Needham & Company, for example, said that the chance is less than 25 percent.

Do you think the SEC will approve the Bitcoin Investment Trust’s listing? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of SEC Union, SEC, SolidX, and Bitcoin Investment Trust


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