Three hopeful ETF candidates, Grayscale and Fidelity, and VanEck have now filed their form 8-A with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), marking significant steps forward in the ongoing efforts to establish a Bitcoin ETF.
These filings are crucial as they signify the registration necessary for issuers to trade on an exchange.
This is a major step forward for the Bitcoin ETF, as it is the registration necessary for issuers to trade on an exchange.
With these filings, we are one step closer to getting a Bitcoin ETF approved.
Grayscale Investments, LLC, the sponsor of the Bitcoin Investment Trust (OTCQX:GBTC) filed an amendment to its registration statement on Form S-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on January 8, 2019.
This move comes close on the heels of Fidelity Investments’ filing for a Bitcoin Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF) on January 3, 2019.
The amendment is part of a broader trend of firms actively engaging in efforts to launch a spot Bitcoin ETF within the past year.
These filings come as the SEC continues to deliberate on a Bitcoin ETF proposal from VanEck and SolidX, which was first filed in June 2018.
The SEC has been increasingly vocal about its concerns with a Bitcoin ETF, most notably in a letter to the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) in August 2018. In the letter,
Bitcoin ETF providers are currently in a race to be the first to offer the product to the public. The contenders include BlackRock, VanEck, Grayscale Investments, Hashdex, Valkyrie, Fidelity, Invesco, WisdomTree, Ark 21 Shares, and Franklin Templeton. As of press time, only Grayscale, VanEck and Fidelity have filed their 8-A.
What is an SEC Form 8-A?
SEC Form 8-A is a document required by the SEC from companies seeking to register securities before they can be offered on an exchange.
This form requires a description of the type of securities provided, issuance details, distribution date, and terms. It also requires information about the issuer, including the exact name of the entity registering the securities, the jurisdiction of incorporation, the state of organization, and other essential details.
The process of creating an ETF begins when a prospective ETF manager, known as a sponsor, files a plan with the SEC.
Once the plan is approved, the sponsor forms an agreement with an authorized participant, who is empowered to create or redeem ETF shares.
An ETF must file a Form 8-A before securities can be offered on an exchange. The form becomes effective automatically 60 days after filing.
If a class of securities is concurrently being registered under the Securities Act, the form becomes effective upon the effectiveness of a Securities Act registration statement.
For example, the Bitcoin Strategy ETF, filed an 8-A with the SEC on Oct. 15, 2023, after the plan for the ETF was disclosed, signaling to many that the fund may soon begin trading. The fund then opened for trading on October 22, 2023, seven days later.
Grayscale spot Bitcoin ETF conversion
Grayscale’s submission of Form 8-A shows their dedication to getting their Bitcoin ETF approved. They’ve demonstrated their readiness to initiate the ETF when they receive the regulatory green light. Even so, the SEC has yet to give the go-ahead for the ETF, leaving the final decision in the air.
The SEC has a long history of rejecting applications for Bitcoin ETFs, citing worries about market manipulation and the safeguarding of investors.
However, Grayscale recently won a legal battle compelling the SEC to reconsider its application. While this victory is a step in the right direction, the final outcome is still uncertain. The SEC is currently evaluating all submissions for Bitcoin ETFs, including that of Grayscale, so stay tuned for updates.