Bitcoin climbs past $8,000 as ETF speculation fuels renaissance

Bitwise Index Which Tracks 10 Cryptocurrencies Joins the Line for Crypto ETF

Cryptocurrency enthusiasts may turn out to be their own worst enemy when it comes to an exchange-traded fund backed by Bitcoin. Bitcoin has surged past $8,000 mark since the beginning of July, nearly a 40 percent hike.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has postponed the review of Bitcoin ETFs proposed by investment firm Direxion Asset Management, as it needs more time to study the proposal before reaching a final decision.

This tread has also led the SEC showing concern over the prospects of these funds. The SEC had asked companies to pull about a dozen applications for cryptocurrency-linked products in January, and past year rejected the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust ETF. Talks of the possible launch of a Bitcoin ETF has made the price skyrocketing. "It's like deja vu, but I'm 10 times more pessimistic about a fund being approved", Eric Balchunas, a senior ETF analyst with Bloomberg Intelligence, was quoted by Bloomberg. In June, an exchange sought approval from the SEC to list a Bitcoin ETF from Van Eck and SolidX Partners Inc.

Others have filed for ETFs based on singular cryptocurrencies in the past but the new ETF is based on the asset manager's Bitwise HOLD 10 Index Fund, a market-cap-weighted index of the 10 largest cryptocurrencies that captures approximately 80 percent of the total market capitalization. At least three other requests from exchanges that want to list Bitcoin ETFs have been pending since January.

According to the provisions of the SEC's enabling Act, the commission is expected to give its decision within "180 days after the date of publication of notice of filing of the proposed rule change". It has extended its considerations several times.

But the ETF industry has left no stone unturned in mounting pressure on the SEC. Last week, VanEck responded to the SEC's questions from January, declaring that its fund would be "consistent with the commission's mission to protect investors".

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