A much-discussed Bitcoin (BTC) spot exchange-traded fund (ETF) could finally see the light of day in the US, after a new ETF filed under rules that would be used for a spot fund just went live on the market.
The fund in question is Teucrium’s Hashdex Bitcoin Futures ETF with the appropriate ticker code DEFI, which began trading on the NYSE Arca exchange on Thursday, Bloomberg reported. And according to the report, the fund differs from all other bitcoin ETFs that have launched so far in that it was filed under the Securities Act of 1933 – the same act that would be necessary to use for a Bitcoin spot ETF.
All other Bitcoin ETFs in the US have been filed under the Investment Company Act of 1940.
Spot-based crypto ETFs that are backed directly by digital assets have long been denied listing in the US by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the financial regulator in charge of approving such listings. As a result, the crypto ETFs that exist in the US so far are all backed by Bitcoin futures contracts, and not “physical” bitcoins.
For the time being, Bitcoin ETFs remain the only crypto-based ETFs that exist in the US.
According to Bloomberg, the Investment Company Act of 1940 has been the SEC’s preferred law for crypto ETFs to be filed under, with SEC Chair Gary Gensler citing greater investor protections under that law as the reason.
With the new fund filed and approved under the 1933 law, however, questions are being raised about whether the SEC has changed its stance to towards crypto ETFs.
“The launch of this Teucrium product only bolsters the case for a spot Bitcoin ETF since it’s utilizing the exact same fund structure,” Nate Geraci, president of advisory firm The ETF Store told Bloomberg, before adding that this “doesn’t mean the SEC will budge from their hard-line stance.”
“I’m still in the camp that a spot product simply won’t be approved until the SEC has regulatory oversight of crypto exchanges,” he said.
When Teucrium’s new ETF originally was approved by the SEC back in April this year, other analysts, including Bloomberg’s own ETF analyst Eric Balchunas, also noted how the approval was a step on the way to a spot bitcoin ETF.
The approval is a “good sign for spot” given that the application was “filed under the 33 Act, which [Gensler] has said doesn’t have enough [investor] protections vs [the] 40 Act,” Balchunas said at the time.