The president of the New York Stock Exchange pours cold water on a bitcoin ETF

  • Tom Farley, president of the New York Stock Exchange, doesn’t see a bitcoin ETF in the near term.
  • A number of companies have pulled requests for a bitcoin-linked ETF amid regulator worries.

One of the most powerful men on Wall Street doesn’t see an exchange-traded fund linked to bitcoin in the cards for the near term.

Tom Farley, the president of the New York Stock Exchange, told Bloomberg Thursday that it would take some time for regulators to approve such a fund.

“I saw a message that said this is not a mature asset class in the vein of the U.S. dollar or gold,” Farley said in an interview with Bloomberg TV’s Erik Schatzker at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland. “If I had to guess, it’s a while. I don’t have timing, but it is not imminent.”

NYSE Arca, a secondary exchange for ETF listings, lists more than 1,400 ETFs on its venue. A number of bitcoin-linked ETF have filed to list on NYSE but have since withdrawn requests after regulators expressed concerns about such a product so early in bitcoin’s life-cycle.

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

Ed Tilly, chief executive of Cboe Global Markets, told reporters during a media lunch in New York that the market would have to see a number of settlements in the bitcoin futures market before an ETF or any other type of exchange-traded product would get approved.

“Before you get into mainstream ETPs, we need to get through a series of settlements before that makes sense to regulators,” Tilly said. “Those boxes have to be checked before there’s a mass roll-out of exchange-traded products.”

Cboe and cross-town rival CME Group launched futures markets for bitcoin in December. Cboe’s January contracts settled on January 17. CME’s front-month contracts expire Friday.

ICE, the parent company of NYSE, made headlines earlier this month for launching a cryptocurrency data feed aimed at professional traders.

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