The proposed environmentally conscious spot ETF was found to be insufficiently protected against fraud and manipulation, like many ETF proposals before it.
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The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) maintained its perfect record for rejecting Bitcoin (BTC) spot exchange-traded fund (ETF) applications Friday when it disapproved a rule change to allow cryptocurrency-focused hedge fund One River Digital to offer the One River Carbon Neutral Bitcoin Trust on the New York Stock Exchange Arca. The decision comes somewhat ahead of schedule, as the agency had extended the original deadline to June 2 to allow more time for consideration.
The commission wrote that, when considering One River’s proposed rule change, it applied “the same standard used in its orders considering previous proposals to list bitcoin-based commodity trusts.” Specifically, the proposed rule change did not meet the SEC’s rules around fraud prevention. The SEC further clarified:
“[…] disapproval of this proposed rule change does not rest on an evaluation of whether bitcoin, or blockchain technology more generally, has utility or value as an innovation or an investment.”
One River Digital was established in 2020 by Eric Peters, founder of One River Asset Management, and is reportedly backed by billionaire Alan Howard, co-founder of Brevan Howard Asset Management.
Among the financial organizations that have tried and failed to receive the SEC’s blessings on digital asset-based ETFs this year are Fidelity Investments, New York Digital Investment Group (NYDIG) and Global X, as well as Skybridge Capital.
Grayscale has been more militant in its efforts to receive approval for a spot-traded Bitcoin ETF. The digital asset manager has gone so far as to threaten to file suit against the SEC if its application is denied, and has recently launched a campaign to drum up public support for its application.