The CBOE submitted its application on 2 June 2018 and there are those who bet that the chances of obtaining approval are good.
However, as Chervinsky points out, although the SEC has 45 days from the day on which the proposal was received to consider it admissible or not, it can “extend the deadline up to three times”.
According to Chervinsky, these could be the timescales:
- the notice was originally published on 2 June;
- first extension: 10 August (about 45 days later);
- second extension: 24 September (about 45 days later);
- third extension: 23 December (about 90 days later).
The justification for the first extension could have been: “a longer period to decide is appropriate.“
For the second, however, the justification could be that it wants to deal more thoroughly with possible grounds for refusal, which could theoretically be followed by a third extension of another 60 days.
With this possible third extension, the deadline for the SEC to take a decision is extended to 240 days after the files have been filed in the Federal Register. Thus, according to Chervinsky, the ‘most likely date for a decision’ would be 4 March 2019, as he believes that the regulator will extend the period as long as possible.
He said, “I can’t imagine the SEC will approve the first ever bitcoin ETF without taking all the time allowed by law.”
Moreover, extensions are very common, so much so that the SEC, for example, has already extended the deadline for deciding on other ETFs proposed by Direxion.
Obviously, we are in the field of hypotheses, also because other sources are more optimistic about both timing and approval, but what Chervinsky points out seems plausible.