After a lull in the discussion surrounding a Bitcoin (BTC) ETF following multiple delays upon the decision from the SEC, talks of a potential cryptocurrency ETF are once again circulating; and with the SECs self-imposed February deadline fast approaching, the rumor mill is spinning out of control.
Among these rumors is one fairly quizzical report that a blockchain ETF could “automatically get approved” thanks to the government shutdown:
e.g. "The SEC didn’t formally approve the ETFs, but the current law means that the blockchain ETFs were automatically approved under the current law" https://t.co/8r9zS5Crmd— Brian Cohen (@inthepixels) January 20, 2018
According to the linked article, the SEC didn’t formally approve two ETFs - which invest exclusively in blockchain startups – but under current law, the two ETFs were automatically approved.
The prolonged US government shutdown directly impacts the regulatory body who have announced that they will operate under limited functions:
Due to the ongoing federal govt shutdown, we are currently operating in accordance with the SEC’s plan for operating during a shutdown. Effective today (12/27/18) and until further notice, we will have limited number of staff members available. More info: https://t.co/RhiOji1iyR— SEC_News (@SEC_News) December 27, 2018
Furthermore, speculators state that if the shutdown lasts until the BTC ETF deadline (February 27th) than the proposed rule change will be auto-approved.
However, throughout the duration of this shutdown, the regulatory body will still respond to “emergency situations involving market integrity and investor protection, including law enforcement.”, making it unlikely that a proposed Bitcoin ETF will ‘slip the net’.
This view was echoed by Jake Chervinsky, a prominent crypto commentator and securities lawyer who put the rumors to bed, simply by Tweeting:
Not going to happen.https://t.co/9TAtxZthDV— Jake Chervinsky (@jchervinsky) January 6, 2019
Chervinsky linked to a previous Tweet of his asserting that while the SEC has a reduced staff it will still have enough hands on deck to reject the BTC ETF in order to avoid an auto approval.
Meanwhile, more and more of the crypto community are going cold against the idea of a BTC ETF. A recent conversation between Naomi Brockwell and former Wall street advisor Tyrone Ross Jr echoed this growing sentiment with Ross Jr asserting that an ETF is counter-intuitive to the fundamental ideals of cryptocurrency and just another way for wall street to cash in on crypto.