SEC continues to delay decisions on crypto ETFs: Law Decoded

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The latest delays came two weeks before the second deadline for many applicants.

Despite United States Representatives Mike Flood, Wiley Nickel, Tom Emmer and Ritchie Torres calling on the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to immediately approve the listing of spot Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded funds (ETFs), the agency once again delayed its decision. 

When it comes to spot Ether (ETH) ETFs from VanEck and ARK 21Shares, the SEC delayed making decisions until Dec. 25 and Jan. 10, respectively, while GlobalX will have to wait until Nov. 21 for the commission’s decision. It also delayed deciding on the spot Bitcoin ETF applications of Invesco, Bitwise and Valkyrie until mid-January.

The latest delays came two weeks earlier than the scheduled second deadline date for many applicants, who had been expecting to hear from the securities regulator by Oct. 16–19. The timing of the delays may have been related to the narrowly avoided U.S. government shutdown, which would have disrupted the country’s financial regulators and other federal agencies.

Bitwise Asset Management reacted to the delay of its spot Bitcoin ETF with an amended application, responding to the SEC’s objections to the product. In its amended application, Bitwise engaged with what the SEC called “the ‘mixed’ or ‘inconclusive’ academic record” on the lead-lag relationship between BTC futures and spot markets.

Another Chinese court recognized Bitcoin as property 

The Shanghai No.2 Intermediate People’s Court in China has recognized Bitcoin as a unique and non-replicable digital asset while acknowledging its scarcity and inherent value. According to the court’s report, digital currencies such as Bitcoin stand out as unique and non-replicable internet technology products. The report states that among a sea of digital currencies, Bitcoin is different and unique from other digital assets. It has key currency features such as scalability, ease of circulation, storage and payment. 

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Taiwan bans unregistered foreign crypto exchanges

Taiwan’s Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) formulated the critical points for regulating Taiwan’s cryptocurrency market, releasing industry guidelines for virtual asset service providers (VASP) operating in the country. In the guidelines, the authority mentioned standard industry-wide rules like separating exchange treasury assets from customer assets and reviewing mechanisms for listing and delisting virtual assets.

The FSC also required foreign VASPs to refrain from providing their services in Taiwan without obtaining necessary approvals from the regulator: Overseas virtual asset platform operators are not allowed to provide business within the territory of the country […] unless they have been registered in accordance with the law.”

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Hong Kong will list “suspicious” crypto platforms

The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) of Hong Kong will publish a list of all licensed, deemed licensed, closing down, and application-pending virtual asset trading platforms (VATPs) to better help members of the public identify potentially unregulated VATPs doing business in Hong Kong. The SFC said it will also keep a dedicated list of “suspicious VATPs,” featured in an easily accessible and prominent part of the regulators’ website.

The new rules come immediately after the ongoing JPEX crypto exchange scandal, an affair that local media outlets describe as one of the worst cases of financial fraud ever to hit the region. JPEX stands accused of promoting its services to Hong Kong residents despite not having applied for a license in the country.

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