As long as the SEC doesn’t discriminate between the different filings and follows the usual process, a product from ProShares could be first to get the regulator’s blessing after the company was first to make the appropriate futures-based filing, said BI’s Seyffart.
Valkyrie Investments, a smaller upstart issuer, also holds a good chance, he said. Its filing was a week behind ProShares’, but the proposed ETF would hold only Bitcoin futures. In contrast, the ProShares application includes clauses that would grant its fund the ability to hold Bitcoin-related instruments.
As of the start of the month there were nine Bitcoin futures applications in the queue, according to a tally kept by BI, though two were filed under the 1933 act that allows stock exchanges to list products.
One other, filed under the 1940 act, proposes to hold a combination of crypto equities and Bitcoin futures. On Friday, crypto lender BlockFi Inc. put forward an application for a futures-based one that would also invest in short-duration fixed-income securities and other investments.
Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, the twin founders of Gemini Trust Co., filed the first application for a Bitcoin ETF in 2013. Approval has remained out of the grasp of issuers for years amid concerns that the crypto space is too volatile and vulnerable to manipulation.
But not everyone is confident an approval is now at hand.
“The odds of approval in the next month are better than 50/50, but I would hardly be surprised if the SEC kicked this particular can down the road a few more times along with the physical Bitcoin ETF,” said Dave Nadig, chief investment officer at data-provider ETF Trends. “It’s clear that what’s needed is an actual regulatory plan. We have yet to get a hint that one is really forthcoming soon.”