SEC's First Bitcoin ETF Deadline is Actually March 13, Not March 11

The deadline is drawing near for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to make a decision on the first Bitcoin ETF. The Commission has stated that this deadline is March 11, which has caused some confusion in the Bitcoin community since this date falls on a Saturday. A clause in the SEC’s rulebook pushes the deadline to March 13.

Also read: SEC Begins Soliciting Comments On Bitcoin Investment Trust 

SEC Says March 11 is the Deadline

On January 4, the SEC issued a notice stating that it has designated “March 11, 2017 as the date by which the Commission should either approve or disapprove the proposed rule First SEC's Bitcoin ETF Deadline is March 13, Not March 11change (File No. SR-BatsBZX-2016-30), as modified by Amendment No. 1”. This rule change concerns the listing and trading of Coin ETF on the Bats Global Market exchange.

March 11 is 240 days from July 14, 2016, the date which the proposed rule change was published for notice and comment in the Federal Register. However, March 11 falls on a Saturday this year, a day in which U.S. government offices are closed.

SEC Clause Moves Deadline to March 13

Title 17 of the Code of Federal Regulations, called CFR (Commodity and Securities Exchanges), has a section that addresses ‘time computation’. 17 CFR part 201 of Rule 160 (§201.160) states that “In computing any period of time prescribed in or allowed by these Rules of Practice or by order of the Commission, the day of the act, event, or default from which the designated period of time begins to run shall not be included”. The Commission further wrote that:

The last day of the period so computed [March 11] shall be included unless it is a Saturday, Sunday, or Federal legal holiday (as defined in Rule 104), in which event the period runs until the end of the next day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or Federal legal holiday.

In addition, 17 CFR 240.19b-4 – ‘Filings with respect to proposed rule changes by self-regulatory organizations’ states that: “A ‘‘business day’’ is any day other than a Saturday, Sunday, Federal holiday, a day that the Office of Personnel Management has announced that Federal agencies in the Washington, DC area are closed to the public, a day on which the Commission is subject to a Federal government shutdown or a day on which the Commission’s Washington, DC office is otherwise not open for regular business”.

The next business day following March 11 per the SEC’s rule is Monday March 13.

Managing director and head of research at Blockchain Capital, Spencer Bogart, former Needham analyst who published many reports on Bitcoin and Bitcoin ETFs, confirmed to that:

If a deadline falls on a weekend, the deadline pushes to next federal business day (13th in this case).

Other SEC Deadlines for Bitcoin ETF Decisions

After the Coin ETF, Solidx Bitcoin Trust is up next for a decision by the SEC. On January 3, the SEC announced “March 30, 2017 as the date by which the Commission First SEC's Bitcoin ETF Deadline is March 13, Not March 11should either approve or disapprove the proposed rule change (File No. SR-NYSEArca-2016-101)”. This rule change pertains to the listing and trading of Solidx Bitcoin Trust on the NYSE Arca. That date will not be pushed forward because March 30 is on a Thursday.

First SEC's Bitcoin ETF Deadline is March 13, Not March 11The third Bitcoin ETF waiting for a decision by the SEC is Barry Silbert’s Bitcoin Investment Trust (BIT) to list GBTC on the NYSE Arca. The proposed rule change for the BIT was published in the Federal Register on February 9. The SEC has not announced how long it will take to make a decision on the BIT. However, the latest date it could be is October 7, which is 240 days from February 9. Since this date also falls on a Saturday, the decision on the BIT could be pushed to the following Monday, October 9.

By these deadlines, the Commission can either approve or disapprove the rule changes proposed by respective exchanges to list and trade Bitcoin ETFs. The Commission also has the option of doing nothing which means the proposed rule changes will be deemed automatically approved.

Do you think the SEC will approve the listing of Coin ETF on March 13? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, SEC, Solidx, and Grayscale

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