VanEck Withdraws Bitcoin ETF Application After Launching Fund for Institutional Investors

Investment firm VanEck, which had applied for a Bitcoin ETF earlier this year along with SolidX, withdrew its application on Sep. 13th, according to a filing posted on the SEC website this evening. The federal agency was due to issue a final decision on their application by October 18th.

Today’s application withdrawal leaves just two more players in the Bitcoin ETF fray: Wilshire Phoenix and Bitwise Asset Management. A final decision on Bitwise’ application is expected on October 13th while the folks at Wilshire Phoenix should hear from the SEC by Sep 29th.

VanEck and SolidX filed their first Bitcoin ETF application last June. However, they withdrew it from consideration on January 22nd in the midst of a government shutdown. The application was filed again by CBOE, the market where the ETF would have been listed for trading, at the end of January.

VanEck has been quite vocal in its demand for a Bitcoin ETF, with the firm’s director of digital strategy Gabor Gurbacs leading the charge.

However, the SEC’s postponements regarding a decision seemed to have taken their toll on the firm. Last week, it announced another index fund for customers. While VanEck seemed to portray the fund as a “limited version” Bitcoin ETF, it is anything but.

ETFs are targeted at retail investors and financial advisors while VanEck and SolidX’s fund is squarely aimed at mopping up a share of the pent-up demand for Bitcoin price volatility among institutional investors. Only Qualified Institutional Buyers (QIB) or investors who have funds of $100 million or more are allowed to invest in it.

On its website, the firm had promised a conversion of the fund’s shares to regular ETF shares within a year, if their application was approved. Obviously, that will not happen now.