Over the last few days, a number of commentators on social media have been touting the idea that the current US government shut-down will result in automatic approval of the Vaneck Bitcoin ETF. The application remains under review with the SEC until 27 February, the last date on which the regulatory body can either approve or refuse the application.
The current shutdown – the longest in US history – continues with no signs of the deadlock being broken anytime soon. With the SEC directly impacted by the shutdown, and with the Bitcoin ETF application due for automatic approval if the SEC does not provide a formal decision by the deadline, some commentators have been concluding that the Vaneck application may pass by default if the shutdown continues.
Gov Shutdown and BTC –
SEC is due to make a decision on the Vaneck Bitcoin ETF next month
The SEC doesn’t have the power to extend the 240-day deadline. By law, that means if the SEC fails to make a decision by the February 27 deadline, the ETF will be automatically approved?
— Jason A. Williams ? (@JWilliamsFstmed) January 21, 2019
This prognosis, however, has been challenged by lawyer Jake Chervinsky, a securities litigation specialist at Kobre Kim who has pointed out that the SEC continues to run a skeleton crew which has been keeping an eye on critical operations and other matters of a material nature.
“It’s true that the SEC has stopped nearly all of its work due to the shutdown & furloughed most of its employees,” states Chervinsky in a tweet sent out last weekend, “but the SEC has *already* taken action during the shutdown to avoid missing deadlines on other proposed rule changes.”
Chervinsky further states that the Vaneck Bitcoin ETF likely remains on the SEC’s radar, concluding that the continuing impasse in Washington will be unlikely to have a direct impact on the Vaneck application.
0/ The VanEck/SolidX bitcoin ETF won’t be automatically approved just because the US government is shut down.
I’ve seen a lot of confusion & misinformation about how the shutdown affects the SEC and its process for handling ETF proposals. I’ll try to explain here.
— Jake Chervinsky (@jchervinsky) January 18, 2019