ProShares and VanEck are withdrawing their requests for bitcoin ETFs

  • ProShares and VanEck both withdrew requests to the Securities and Exchange Commission to launch bitcoin-linked exchange traded funds on Tuesday.
  • Bitcoin ETFs have long been viewed as a natural next step in the maturation of the bitcoin market.

Two financial services giants – ProShares and VanEck – are withdrawing requests to the Securities and Exchange Commission to list bitcoin ETFs.

VanEck, which filed for its actively managed Bitcoin Strategy ETF on December 11, asked the Securities and Exchange Commission Tuesday to withdraw that amendment. ProShares, which said it would launch a suite of bitcoin ETFs in September, also withdrew its request on Tuesday, according to a filing.

Neither VanEck nor ProShares provided a specific reason why they decided to withdraw the products in their filings.

Matthew Babinsky, the author of VanEck’s filing to the SEC, declined to comment on the letter. Press representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Robert Borzone Jr, the author of ProShares’ letter, did not respond to messages seeking comment.

Rafferty Asset Management also halted plans to launch bitcoin-linked funds on Monday, according to reporting by Reuters. The firm said regulators “expressed concerns regarding the liquidity and valuation” of such products in a filing.

Bitcoin-linked ETFs have long been viewed as a natural next step for the cryptocurrency, following the launch of Cboe Global Markets’ and CME Group’s bitcoin futures offerings in December.

“We started down this road in the form of an ETF,” Chris Concannon, president of Cboe, told Business Insider after regulators gave US exchange groups the green light to launch futures. “A healthy market is a healthy underlying market, derivatives markets, and an ETF. That will take time.”

Bats Global Markets, which was acquired by Cboe earlier last year, attempted to list a bitcoin exchange-traded fund backed by the Winklevoss twins. That attempt was rejected by regulators, with the Securities and Exchange Commission citing the lack of “surveillance-sharing agreements with significant markets for trading the underlying commodity or derivatives on that commodity.”

Business Insider reported Saturday on a proposal by the New York Stock Exchange to list five new funds linked to bitcoin futures on one of its markets.

The new leveraged and inverse exchange-traded funds, planned by ETF-maker Direxion Asset Management, are designed to track trading in bitcoin futures markets, not bitcoin itself. The leveraged ETFs, according to a filing to the SEC, seek to provide investors returns that multiply returns in the underlying market.

This story is developing. Check back for updates.

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