Article By Chris Perrotta
Bitwise Asset Management, a crypto asset manager, on Thursday, January 10th, filed a Form S-1 with the SEC with hopes to list a physically held Bitcoin ETF, Bitwise Bitcoin ETF Trust, on NYSE Arca. This ETF would track the Bitwise Bitcoin Total Return Index, which includes any “meaningful hard forks.”
The Bitwise Bitcoin ETF Trust will track the price of Bitcoin based on data taken from large, trustworthy exchanges. The physical Bitcoin will be held by a regulated custodian. According to the firm, these changes should alleviate concerns that regulators have about other current proposals.
“The SEC has asked thoughtful and relevant questions about the quality of the crypto trading ecosystem, the reliability of crypto pricing, the strength of the arbitrage function in crypto and the robustness of crypto custody. We have spent the past year researching these questions and look forward to discussing those findings with the SEC staff in connection with the filing and listing application.” -Matt Hougan, Global Head of Research for Bitwise
It is also expected that the NYSE will file a “Rule 19b-4” request with the SEC in a few days. This would request necessary NYSE rule changes in order to allow their application to be approved by the SEC. More importantly, “the ETF to be listed once the registration statement is declared effective by the SEC.”
“While there can be no assurance that the 19b-4 application will be granted or the SEC will review and ultimately accelerate the registration statement, we are optimistic that 2019 should be the year that a bitcoin ETF launches” -John Hyland, Global Head of Exchange-Traded Funds for Bitwise
It is important to note that John Hyland was one of the people who oversaw the creation, launch, and roll-out of the first ever crude oil ETF, USO, in the United States back in 2006. He was also part of the team that is responsible for the first gasoline, heating oil, and copper ETFs.
While there is no guarantee that this ETF will be approved, it is safe to say that we have an expert as an advocate. He has helped start four brand new and very large ETFs over the course of his life. Let’s see if he can add at least one more to his already amazing resume.