Bitcoin Edges Back Down Below $4k as SEC Countdown Begins

Bitcoin prices inched back down on Wednesday, after breaching $4,000 for the first time in six weeks on hopes that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is getting closer to approving investment vehicles that would broaden the asset’s appeal.

The SEC confirmed Wednesday that it has received a formal request to approve a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund designed by VanEckSolidX.

The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), the exchange applying for the listing, had withdrawn its application for a rule change on the ETF, then resubmitted it at the end of January.

The latest notice means the SEC is now required to make a decision on whether or not to allow the ETF to launch within 90 days. A preliminary decision is foreseen within 45 days. A similar ETF proposal filed by Bitwise Asset Management was published by the SEC last week.

Enthusiasts are hoping that the new proposals can satisfy the concerns expressed by the SEC last year, when it rejected multiple ETF proposals.

Bitcoin slipped 0.4% to $3,953.60 as of 8:50 AM ET (13:50 GMT) on the Index.

Cryptocurrencies overall were higher, rising to $135 billion at the time of writing, compared to $133 billion on Tuesday.

Ethereum fell 0.5% to $147.24. XRP slumped 3.8% to $0.3283 while Litecoin was at $50.826, up 4.1%.

In other news, Elon Musk supported digital currencies in an interview on advisory services firm ARK Invest’s podcast.

“Bitcoin’s structure is quite brilliant,” he said, adding that virtual currencies are “a far better way to transfer value than pieces of paper.”

But he also noted that “one of the downsides of crypto is that computationally it is quite energy-intensive.”/

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