The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has postponed making a decision on two bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) proposals earlier this year.
Bitwise Asset Management with NYSE Arca filed the first ETF proposal and was published in the Federal Register on February 15. This marked the 45-day waiting for a preliminary decision on the filing. In total, the SEC has 240 days to approve or reject any ETF proposal. The March 29 decision means the SEC has remaining 45 days to consider the proposal.
The SEC stated on Friday that it will “either approve or disapprove, or institute proceedings to determine whether to disapprove, the proposed rule change” by May 16.
The SEC has received 21 comments so far on the proposed rule change, according to Friday’s letter.
The regulator is also evaluating another bitcoin ETF proposal filed by VanEck and SolidX, in collaboration with Cboe Exchange. Previously filed almost a year ago, the VanEck/SolidX proposal was withdrawn in January amidst the longest partial government shutdown in U.S. history. Jan van Eck, CEO of VanEck, said the shutdown had temporarily paused conversations between the SEC and the firms which submitted the proposal.
In late January, the Cboe resubmitted the proposal and was published in the Federal Register on February 20. The SEC extended this decision as well on Friday, marking May 21 as the date on which it would make a final decision.
Although the SEC hasn’t approved yet any bitcoin ETFs, the majority of the community believes it may happen this year.
SEC Commissioner Robert Jackson previously said in an interview with Roll Call that he expects an ETF proposal will “satisfy the standards” the regulator has set, “eventually.”
Attorney Jake Chervinsky of the Kobre Kim law firm also boldly claimed that “it’s entirely possible that another  months of development in the cryptocurrency ecosystem could be enough to finally warrant approval of a bitcoin ETF.”