On Wednesday, January 23, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that the Chicago Board Options Exchange's (Cboe) BZX Exchange had pulled its request for a rule change that, if passed, would have allowed for a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) developed by VanEck and SolidX.
The request was originally "published for comment" in the federal register on July 2, 2018. On August 7, 2018, the SEC began reviewing the request and decided to put the decision off until September 20, 2018. At that time, the SEC further delayed a decision by instituting proceedings to determine whether or not to approve the rule change that would allow for a crypto ETF.
On December 6, 2018, the SEC decided that it needed more time to deliberate, but said that a firm decision would be made on February 27, 2019, giving hope to many investors that a bitcoin ETF would soon become reality.
The Cboe has not explained why it chose to pull the request. Reports suggest that it may be related to the government shutdown and the fact that there is no one at the SEC who is able to review the request.
In a January 23 tweet, VanEck CEO Jan van Eck confirmed that the request had been pulled and that the company would file again at a later date.
For now, the idea of a crypto ETF remains a fantasy. In July 2018, the SEC rejected a proposal from the Winklevoss twins. In August 2018, the SEC rejected nine different ETF proposals from three separate companies.