Since the first application for a U.S. Bitcoin exchange-traded fund was filed in 2013, a Bitcoin ETF has become something of a holy grail for the crypto community.
An ETF is a publicly traded investment vehicle that tracks the value of an underlying asset; in the case of a Bitcoin ETF, that asset is Bitcoin. Advocates for a Bitcoin ETF argue that the complexities of exchanges, crypto wallets, and private keys still present a daunting barrier to entry into the crypto space for newcomers. A Bitcoin ETF would enable these investors to gain exposure to Bitcoin without actually having to hold their own cryptocurrency.
Bitcoin ETFs have sprung up around the world, in Canada, Brazil and Dubai. But to date, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has rejected every Bitcoin ETF application to cross its desk, citing the potential for market manipulation among cryptocurrency traders.
Here are all the applications currently in play:VanEck
VanEck is one of the earliest Bitcoin ETF applicants still in play. Its first stab at a Bitcoin ETF—the VanEck SolidX Bitcoin Trust, in partnership with SolidX—came all the way back in 2018.
While that application was withdrawn in September 2019, VanEck made a second attempt at getting a Bitcoin ETF off the ground, filing its application for the VanEck Bitcoin Trust with the SEC in December 2020, with shares of the trust set to trade on the Cboe BZX Exchange.
Notably, VanEck filed its second application mere days after former SEC chair Jay Clayton left his position. In a 2019 interview with CNBC, Clayton had been dismissive of the prospects of a Bitcoin ETF, noting that while there had been "progress" on concerns around custody, that crypto is still...