Hours after ‘bombshell’ WSJ report, Cboe refiles bitcoin ETFs

Cboe on behalf of five would-be spot bitcoin ETF issuers refiled with the SEC on Friday


rafapress/Shutterstock modified by Blockworks


Cboe refiled five spot bitcoin ETF proposals Friday, following reports that the SEC had requested more information. 

The Wall Street Journal had reported this morning that previous filings were “inadequate,” a characterization that appeared to cause a loss of faith in the cryptocurrency earlier in the day. However, on closer reading, the WSJ report merely noted that the SEC wanted updated language and detail and had made no decisions on the merits of the ETF applications.

The filings, in their second iteration, have named Coinbase as part of the surveillance-sharing agreement for Wise Origin, WisdomTree, VanEck and Invesco Galaxy’s ETF applications.

Ark tapped “Coinbase Custody Trust Company, LLC, a third-party regulated custodian (the “Custodian”), will be responsible for custody of the Trust’s bitcoin” according to its filing. 

The updated document said that the product, The Spot BTC SSA, would “have the hallmarks of a surveillance-sharing agreement” split between two parties. That setup would permit “supplemental access to data regarding spot Bitcoin trades occurring on Coinbase if the Exchange determines it is necessary as part of its surveillance program,” the filing said.

Additional refiled applications contained similar language and related updates. 

The SEC told both Cboe and Nasdaq representatives that the filings lacked sufficient details to appease regulators, The Wall Street Journal reported. Key among those details, reportedly, was a lack of information around surveillance sharing agreements with bitcoin exchanges designed to safeguard the ETF products.  

The updated filings come after Wall Street firms rushed to file – or refile in some cases — spot bitcoin ETF proposals in the wake of BlackRock’s filing on June 15. 

BlackRock also plans to tap Coinbase as its crypto custodian.

The refilings come a day after Fidelity filed for its spot bitcoin ETF.

The wave of filings contains the same language: around surveillance-sharing agreements in the hopes that the SEC will greenlight a spot bitcoin ETF.

Updated June 30, 2023 at 5:37 pm ET: Added context throughout.

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