SEC rejects VanEck's spot bitcoin ETF

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The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has rejected a proposed effort to list a spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund.

The agency, which regulates securities markets in the U.S., had previously punted its final determination on VanEck's proposed fund. The most recent delay took place in September, setting the stage for a final deadline of November 14 (though it was expected sometime Friday given the weekend timing).

"This order disapproves the proposed rule change," the SEC said in its notice, published Friday. "The Commission concludes that BZX has not met its burden under the Exchange Act and the Commission’s Rules of Practice to demonstrate that its proposal is consistent with the requirements of Exchange Act Section 6(b)(5), in particular, the requirement that the rules of a national securities exchange be “designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices” and “to protect investors and the public interest.”

That rationale echoes the agency's thinking when it shot down a proposed bitcoin ETF from Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss several years ago. At the time, the SEC said that market manipulation concerns needed to be addressed before a spot product could be approved.

Friday's decline comes soon after the SEC cleared the runway for ETF products centered around bitcoin futures. In recent comments, SEC chair Gary Gensler had expressed openness toward bitcoin futures-based ETFs as opposed to spot ETFs.

As previously reported, several other spot bitcoin ETF proposals are currently before the SEC. 

This story is developing and will be updated with new information.

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