Don't Hold Your Breath Waiting for Bitcoin ETFs Amid SEC Review

  • Regulators taking a cautious approach to Bitcoin ETF approval
  • SEC told several fund companies to pull Bitcoin ETF proposals
NYSE President Tom Farley speaks to Bloomberg’s Erik Schatzker at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Although several Bitcoin exchange-traded funds have been proposed, they’re unlikely to win U.S. regulatory approval soon, said Tom Farley, who oversees the New York Stock Exchange.

Farley, an expert on ETFs given that his company lists more of them than any other U.S. exchange, noted that the Securities and Exchange Commission recently highlighted investor protection concerns about the funds.

“I saw a message that said this is not a mature asset class in the vein of the U.S. dollar or gold,” the president of NYSE Group Inc. said in a Thursday interview with Bloomberg Television at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. “If I had to guess, it’s a while. I don’t have timing, but it is not imminent.”

Fund companies withdrew applications for 12 cryptocurrency ETFs and 2 mutual funds this month after the SEC’s staff said it was worried about keeping investors safe, Bloomberg News reported.

Derivatives based on Bitcoin moved faster on other kinds of exchanges. Cboe Global Markets Inc. and CME Group Inc. both introduced Bitcoin futures last month. Together, they handled contracts worth about $150 million of Bitcoin on Wednesday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

NYSE is a unit of Intercontinental Exchange Inc. Last week, the company announced its launch of a real-time cryptocurrency data feed, pulling in information from more than 15 digital currency exchanges worldwide. ICE competes with Bloomberg LP, the parent of Bloomberg News, in providing data on digital currencies.

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