It appears that the U.S. Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) has removed BlackRock’s iShares Bitcoin ETF filing from its list, fueling speculation that approval of the proposed Bitcoin exchange traded fund (ETF) could be in jeopardy.
The DTCC, a key financial industry clearinghouse, removed the ticker symbol “BLKBTC” for the Bitcoin ETF from its list of regulatory filings around 1 p.m. ET on Thursday, sparking a rapid decline in the price of Bitcoin (BTC). The digital currency fell from roughly $7,400 to the low $7,200s in the span of 15 minutes before partially recovering.
At the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading at roughly the same levels as before the plunge.
The action by DTCC has called into question whether the SEC will still approve the ETF, which would have been the first of its kind. ETFs are investment funds that trade on public exchanges and track a basket of assets. If approved, the ETF would have allowed traders to purchase shares of the fund without having to purchase actual bitcoin.
BlackRock’s filing has been pending since December 2018 and the SEC recently decided to extend the review period until September 28 of this year.
The removal of the filing from DTCC’s list does not necessarily mean SEC approval is not coming, but the timing of the two events has riled the crypto community. Many view the filing’s removal as a sign the SEC is leaning towards a “no” decision on the ETF.
Some have speculated that the withdrawal indicates SEC staff are preparing to issue a disapproval order on the filing.
Regardless of the outcome, the news has put a bit of a damper on the prospects of a Bitcoin ETF in the near future, though other filings for similar ETFs are still under review.
Update: This article has been updated to note that the ticker was removed not just from DTCC’s list, but from its list of regulatory filings.