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Tuesday, December 7, 2021
Alternative Investments

SEC reportedly rejects Bitcoin ETF applications

Bitcoin ETF

After Valkyrie filed for a leveraged Bitcoin futures ETF and Direxion applied for an inverse fund for bears, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission appears to have vetoed them both

Reports are emerging that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has rejected one, or possibly two, recent Bitcoin exchange-traded fund applications signalling that the regulator is not quite ready for more exotic futures products just yet.

Just a day or so after Valkyrie filed for a leveraged Bitcoin futures ETF and Direxion applied for an inverse fund for bears, the SEC appears to have vetoed them both.

On Oct. 28, Bloomberg’s senior ETF analyst Eric Balchunas referred to a Dow Jones alert indicating the Valkyrie leveraged fund had been shelved by the SEC. He added that the move was likely also to apply to the inverse fund application.

On Oct. 26, ETF issuer Direxion filed for a Bitcoin Strategy Bear ETF that would enable speculators to buy futures that short the price of BTC. On the same day, Valkyrie filed for a leveraged BTC futures ETF that would have offered 1.25x exposure to the asset.

The Direxion product invested purely in futures, however, the Valkyrie one would have held futures, swaps, options, and forwards. Another Dow Jones alert reported the SEC only seems interested in direct futures products at the moment, funds that buy contracts from the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME).

The regulator does not seem keen to approve any products that invest in the asset itself or anything other than CME futures contracts at this stage. Balchunas confirmed: Would be interesting if they let the inverse one go through. That one was limited to futures. Valkyrie’s was a bit of a departure from that language.

ETF Store President, Nate Geraci, reported that two more ETFs had been applied for on Oct. 27 from AXS Investments. The SEC filings are for a regular Bitcoin Strategy ETF similar to the two already approved, and another shorting or inverse fund.

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