SEC delays spot Bitcoin ETF options request until April 4

The SEC postponed a decision on two requests to bring options on spot Bitcoin ETFs to market following the successful launch by nine issuers, excluding Grayscale’s GBTC.

According to a March 6 filing, the U.S. SEC delayed approving, denying, or initiating rule change processes for an application to list and trade options on BlackRock’s iShares Bitcoin ETF (IBIT) filed by Nasdaq. 

A comment period for the proposal has already opened, and some five people have supplied feedback, asking the SEC to greenlight options trading on BlackRock’s spot Bitcoin (BTC) ETF. Nasdaq filed the request in January, shortly after the securities watchdog approved Bitcoin-backed funds from issuers like BlackRock, Fidelity, and ARK 21Shares. 

The SEC chose April 24 as the deadline to either approve, disapprove, or institute proceedings to determine whether to deny the proposed rule change.

The Commission finds it appropriate to designate a longer period within which to take action on the proposed rule change so that it has sufficient time to consider the proposed rule change.

SEC filing

America’s securities regulator also deferred a decision to allow or disallow the Chicago Board Options Exchange (Cboe) from offering spot Bitcoin ETF options. Per a separate filing, this proposal has also been delayed until April 24. 

Under existing laws, Cboe can list and trade options on any exchange-traded product at least three days after the fund debuts on registered exchanges. In a Jan. 5 statement, the platform clarified that funds underpinned by digital assets like Bitcoin fall outside the purview of these rules.

Grayscale CEO Michael Sonnenshein last month urged the SEC to swiftly approve options trading on spot Bitcoin ETFs, noting that denying shareholders and ETF investors of this tool would be a disservice. 

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