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 Bitcoin.com 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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  • soheil moradi

    Hope to approve!

  • Hans Schuldt

    If the 1st ETF won´t get approved, there should only be a 150 pip drop, or a 15 % decrease, in the short term.. So, take care of your highly leveraged shorts then.

  • hendrix

    why they should deny? …fiat-money market owner earn a lot of money with this trades…and new markets to trade coins are opened as well in future…to earn even more fiat…lol…i bet on YES, they allow… but nobody really needs ETF’s..paper value is always burning down ;-)))))) and nothing worth..never forget this ;-))))

    • alex

      why they *could* deny? easy.. because there are unknowns that are hard to understand. They didn’t study cryptography, and even the ones that do have a hard time explaining what the risks are. They have to decide about something they never heard about until a few years ago and has nothing to do with they field of expertise. “when in doubt, leave it out” is often a good advice, but i’m sure they are learning everything about the subject now so they can give an answer without much uncertainty. I’m not surprised it is taking a long time; it simply takes time (a few years) to fully understand the matter and its implications.

    • wonky tonky

      i informed sec about the possible bugs in segwit and lightning network. that should do it, ppl can thank me later for the free money shorting the top. 🙂

  • PB

    Does anyone know if / where SEC is taking public comments weighing in on their decision on COIN ETF? If not already done, wouldn’t it be good (though getting late now!) to start a signature campaign lobbying SEC to approve?

    • Hans Schuldt

      😀

    • wonky tonky

      seems somone is invested a bit too much 😉

  • Harlan Robinson

    How will they make the announcement? Twitter, Website, email list?

  • MC Kuky

    I think that in the long run, it would be better if ETF was not approved.
    But if it is, at least in short term it will make high influx of investors into Bitcoin which will just bring the price up faster.

  • why bother

    I am unsure of the merits of a Bitcoin ETF. In analogy to gold, I prefer to own the real thing. I do like ETFs per se. I have successfully invested in GDXJ and GDX, and not successfully (yet) in FXSG and FXF. The latter two are far easier for me to trade than if I physically owned Singapore Dollars or Swiss francs. I can trade physical gold easily where I am. I can do the same with Bitcoin, so I might as well have possession. I figure whatever is decided on Monday the 13th will not have any long term difference. The increased use cases and improvements to the blockchain in the future are going to have a bigger impact. I do not know much about segregated witness or Bitcoin unlimited but from what I hear, the adoption one of those two or not adopting one of those two is going to have a bigger impact than the SEC ETF decision. Regardless, at these price levels (above $800 USD) I have been buying significantly less amounts of BTC, albeit regularly weekly buys. I like buying physical precious metals too. I intend to hang around with Bitcoin through the time the mining reward halves again, which is 2020.

  • steve backus

    It wont by 13th…but will eventually