In January, the New York Stock Exchange asked the Securities and Exchange Commission to allow it to list five bitcoin-related exchange-traded funds (ETFs) on one of its markets, according to an SEC filing. Last week, the SEC issued an order indicating that it was going to take additional time to consider the application. The SEC is soliciting written comments from the public to address 13 questions, including commenters’ views on whether the proposed funds would have the information needed to adequately value bitcoin financial instruments given “volatility, fragmentation or general lack of regulation of the underlying bitcoin markets.” The SEC wants additional analysis to determine the proposal’s consistency with the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, including provisions that require national securities exchanges to design rules that prevent fraud and manipulation. In issuing this order, the SEC could take months before it decides on the proposal. Although a number of trading venues seek to list investment products connected to Bitcoin, the SEC has not yet approved any such ETFs.
David Zaslowsky has a degree in computer science and, before going to Yale Law School, was a computer programmer. His practice focuses on international litigation and arbitration. He has been involved in cases in trial and appellate courts across the United States and before arbitral institutions around the world. Many of David’s cases, including some patent cases, have related to technology. David has been included in Chambers for his expertise in international arbitration. He is the editor of the firm's blockchain blog.