On September 13, Nasdaq official Giang Bui stated in his remarks that the early rejection of BlackRock’s planned Bitcoin ETF should not affect its subsequent success.
BlackRock applied for a spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) on June 15. While BlackRock filled out Form S-1 to register its product, Nasdaq filled out Form 19-b4, which proposes changes to the rules required for the product’s listing.
On June 30, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) declared this latest application and others insufficient, leading to an early rejection. However, this decision is related more to regulatory procedural issues than to the essence or potential viability of the product. Still, these early rejections may not be a bad sign for applicants.
Giang Bui, President of U.S. Equities & ETPs at Nasdaq, told Forbes:
“When the exchange fills out the 19-b4 form, if the SEC determines that this form is not in compliance with the rules, it must reject it within seven business days. The rejection at this stage is purely procedural and is not an indicator of the product’s viability.”
Following this initial rejection, Nasdaq and others submitted updates for various ETF applications and explicitly listed Coinbase as a surveillance sharing agreement partner. Bui noted that listing partners in this way is unusual; however, he said the recent addition was an attempt by Nasdaq to make its application “as strong as possible.”
Other Bitcoin ETFs are on Hold
BlackRock’s proposed Bitcoin ETF is not the only application of its kind. Nasdaq is also considering a similar proposal from Valkyrie Investments. Another exchange, Cboe, is reviewing bids from other asset management firms including Ark Invest, VanEck, WisdomTree, Invesco, and Fidelity.