Fidelity Bitcoin ETF Set to Trade on CBOE—But No Word From SEC

It’s not an approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission, but the Fidelity Wise Origin Bitcoin Fund has gotten the nod to be listed on the CBOE exchange, according to a new SEC filing.

That will of course depend on whether the SEC grants Fidelity permission to offer its spot Bitcoin ETF to investors. As it stands, the SEC still has a week before it needs to approve, reject, or delay its decision.

A Bitcoin ETF, the white whale of the crypto market for the last decade, would allow traditional investors to gain exposure to Bitcoin without the need to buy and store the digital asset directly. In other words, investors could buy into Bitcoin without the hassle of learning the ins and outs of cryptocurrency exchanges and wallets.

For this reason, analysts expect a rush of Wall Street cash into crypto should an ETF ever be approved. But the SEC has been reluctant. Over the past 10 years, Bitcoin ETF applicants have been met with rejection after rejection from the SEC, mostly citing the potential for manipulation in crypto markets as its primary reason. TradFi heavyweights like Fidelity and BlackRock entering the fray, however, has changed the calculus.

After the last round of delays from the SEC, the regulator now has until January 10 to make a decision on the handful of pending Bitcoin ETF applications that it is considering. But analysts who’ve been tracking ETF activity at Bloomberg Intelligence have narrowed that down and predict that the SEC will make an announcement between January 8 and January 10.

For now—on a day when the mere suggestion that Bitcoin ETF applications might get rejected caused the market to tank—it’s a bullish sign. At the time of writing, Bitcoin had recovered slightly from its early Wednesday flash crash. It’s trading at $42,595.05, according to CoinGecko, down 5.7% from this time yesterday.

The securities listing detail showed up on the asset manager’s Form 8-A12B, or Registration for Listing of a Security on a National Exchange Form. It got filed with the U.S. securities regulator on Wednesday afternoon, when a whole slew of applicants are still waiting on word about their Bitcoin ETF registrations.

A list maintained by the Depository Trust and Clearing Company (DTCC) includes tickers for all active and pre-launch exchange-traded funds, or ETFs. It currently shows that the Fidelity Bitcoin ETF would trade on CBOE under the FBTC ticker on the CBOE.

Having a ticker listed on the DTCC is not the same as an SEC approval. The crypto industry learned that lesson when markets wobbled after the ticker for BlackRock’s iShares Bitcoin Trust got pulled from the list in October. At the time, traders took it to be a bad omen. But analysts pointed out that it wasn’t necessarily the case.

“My guess is they were told to or want to wait until they are days not weeks or months away,” said Bloomberg’s Eric Balchunas at the time. “As I said yesterday it was surprising to see it on there.”

As it turns out, the IBTC (now IBIT) ticker had been on the DTCC list for months before the broader crypto community noticed and panicked over its removal.

A DTCC spokesperson told Decrypt in an email at the time that the ticker had been on the list since August. But the ticker’s inclusion was “not indicative of any outcome for any outstanding regulatory or other approval process,” the company said.

Edited by Guillermo Jimenez.

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