Bitwise ETF Denied; Bitcoin ETF Strategy Adjusts, May Follow VanEck

In an expected move the SEC denied the ETF submission of Bitwise and penned a long and detailed ‘opinion paper’ that documented the decision. That decision was widely expected by experts across the crypto ecosystem, and yet developments have ensued. Most notably, Bitwise’s response to the decision.

The verdict on Bitwise’s ETF proposal had seen multiple delays prior to this week’s final decision, which the SEC had no choice but to make, according to statutory rules. The news release states:

“We deeply appreciate the SEC’s careful review. The detailed feedback they have provided in the Order provides critical context and a clear pathway for ETF applicants to continue moving forward on efforts to list a bitcoin ETF. […] We look forward to continuing to productively engage with the SEC to resolve their remaining concerns, and intend to re-file as soon as appropriate.”

Bitwise’s response denotes a path forward, but hedges with “…re-file as soon as appropriate.” That doesn’t say ‘as soon as possible’ – an important distinction.

“We’re closer than we’ve ever been before to getting a Bitcoin ETF approved,” CEO Matt Hougan told mainstream media on Oct. 7. 

Still, more than a year-long dialogue with regulators has not been for nothing, says the company, concluding:

“While we were not able to satisfy the SEC’s concerns inside the statutory 240-day review window afforded these filings, and while they have identified the need for additional data and context to interpret our key findings, we are pleased with the progress that the industry has made and believe that, with additional research and continued progress in the broader ecosystem, the remaining concerns and challenges raised in this order will ultimately be satisfied.”

In September, another ETF proposal, this time from VanEck and SolidX, was withdrawn by its sponsors. VanEck, notably decided on a wholly separate route that has seen the firm garner significant institutional interest in its Bitcoin product.

We wonder, will Bitwise choose a similar path, somewhat dodging regulators altogether, ergo; ultimately forcing their hand? Time will tell.