Fidelity Holds Private Meeting With The US SEC Over Bitcoin ETF Approval

Boston-based multinational financial services giant Fidelity Investments met with the SEC to discuss the importance of approving its Bitcoin Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF).

Bitcoin ETF Necessary Because of Growing Interest in Bitcoin

According to Bloomberg, some executive members from Fidelity had a private video call with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), to give reasons why the regulatory watchdog should approve its Bitcoin ETF proposal. The filing showed that the meeting was held on Wednesday (September 8, 2021).

Fidelity executives present at the meeting included Tom Joseph, President of Fidelity Digital Assets, Cynthia Lo Bessette, Head of Asset Management Legal, Fidelity Investments, along with five other representatives from the company.

The Wall Street giant filed its proposal with the SEC for a Bitcoin ETF back in March 2021, called Wisdom Origin Bitcoin Trust. Six months after the filing, the SEC is yet to decide on its Bitcoin ETF.

Meanwhile, Fidelity believes that its product should receive a greenlight from the securities regulator, arguing that there has been a surge in institutional interest in bitcoin, adding that the market was already mature. A statement from Nicole Abbott, a spokesperson for the company, reads:

“An increasingly wide range of investors seeking access to Bitcoin has underscored the market need for a more diversified set of products offering exposure to digital assets to match demand.”

Meanwhile, SEC Chairman Gary Gensler, earlier while speaking at the Aspen Security Forum in early August, stated that he was open to reviewing ETFs tied to bitcoin futures. However, Fidelity did not seem to share Gensler’s sentiment, saying:

“We believe bitcoin futures-based products are not a necessary interim step before a bitcoin ETP; firms should be able to meet investor demand for direct exposure to bitcoin through ‘33 Act bitcoin ETPs because the bitcoin market has matured and can support them.”

US Lagging Behind on Bitcoin ETF Race

The SEC has been known to either postpone its decisions for Bitcoin ETF proposals several times or reject such applications. Currently, there is a long list of Bitcoin ETF applications pending before the SEC, from companies such as Invesco, Global X, Wilshire Phoenix, SkyBridge Capital, Galaxy Digital, among others.

While the US is yet to get a Bitcoin ETF, Fidelity argued that similar products exist in other countries. Canadian regulators have approved some Bitcoin ETFs, with the Purpose Bitcoin ETF being the first in North America, and also confirmed some Ether ETFs.

Brazilian regulators also gave the go-ahead to Latin America’s first Bitcoin ETF from QR Capital back in March, with the country also became the first in the region to approve a similar vehicle for ether, also by QR Capital. Fidelity also noted there are seven Bitcoin ETFs in the European ETF market.

Meanwhile, the co-founder Wilshire Phoenix, a New York-based investment firm, William Cai, said back in July that US investors may have to wait till 2023 to get an approved Bitcoin ETF. According to Cai, whose company’s proposal was recently postponed a third time by the SEC, a Bitcoin ETF was not an urgent matter for the Gensler-led SEC administration.

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