VanEck’s listed ETF plans derailed by US government shutdown

VanEck’s founder and CEO, Jan Van Eck, said that the firm is ready to answer many of the SEC’s questions but in order to make its case “clearly and convincingly to the regulators” it needs the US government to reopen.

Once again VanEck’s planned bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) has been delayed, although this time it was VanEck’s decision to “temporarily withdraw” the proposal.

The SEC had been due to issue a ruling by February 27th on a proposed Bitcoin exchange traded fund (ETF). It’s been considering the plan from two companies – VanEck, an investment firm, and SolidX, a financial services company – to list the proposed fund on the Chicago Board of Exchange. To do so would, though, require a rule change from CBOE Global Markets for that to happen, and that’s what the SEC had been mulling over.

Jan Van Eck, in an interview with CNBC said: “We were trying to [convince the regulators], but we obviously can’t have meetings when they’re shut down. Instead of trying to slip through or something, we just had the application pulled.”

The VanEck proposal isn’t the only delay at the SEC, it’s having a knock-on effect on other proposals such initial public offerings. This is all due to Democrats in Congress locking horns with President Donald Trump over funding for a border wall.

According to its website, the SEC is currently operating in accordance with the agency’s plan for operating during a shutdown. It said that “Effective Thursday, Dec. 27 and until further notice, the agency will have a very limited number of staff members available.  The SEC has staff available to respond to emergency situations involving market integrity and investor protection, including law enforcement.”

Van Eck assured CNBC that the group will refile and re-engage in bitcoin ETF discussions “when the SEC gets going again.”