Cboe approves registration for listing Fidelity spot Bitcoin ETF — no SEC approval yet

Cboe logo with Bitcoin logo and ETF text below it and with approved checked in the background.

The United States-based exchange Cboe accepted the registration for listing shares of a spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund proposed by Fidelity Investments.

In a Jan. 3 filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Fidelity Wise Origin Bitcoin Fund said it intended to register its shares as securities listed on the Cboe BZX Exchange. The Form 8-A filing, while part of the process of registering an ETF with the SEC, did not necessarily suggest the commission would approve the investment vehicle.

“My understanding here is that this is just a securities registration,” said Bloomberg ETF analyst James Seyffart on X (formerly Twitter). “In order to list the ETF still needs a 19b-4 approval and they need an effective/approved/completed S-1 document. No 19b-4 yet […] I’m still looking towards next week.”

Seyffart pointed to Bitwise’s spot Bitcoin ETF registration with NYSE Arca, filed on Dec. 29, but both filings “don’t mean they’re approved or anything — yet,” according to the analyst. Volatility Shares Trust filed Form 8-A with the SEC in June ahead of its launch to list shares of a leveraged Bitcoin futures ETF on the Cboe BZX Exchange.

Many on social media seemed confused at the distinction between full SEC approval of a spot Bitcoin ETF and the registration with a U.S. exchange. Some experts, including Seyffart, have speculated that the commission could approve multiple spot BTC exchange-traded product applications ahead of a Jan. 10 final deadline for a crypto investment vehicle from ARK Invest and 21Shares.

Despite many applications from asset managers, including Bitwise, Fidelity, WisdomTree, Invesco Galaxy, Valkyrie and VanEck, the SEC has never approved a spot BTC exchange-traded product for listing and trading on a U.S. exchange. In June 2023, BlackRock — the firm with roughly $9 trillion in assets under management — applied for a spot Bitcoin ETF in the United States.

While the SEC has not approved any spot crypto ETF, it has given the green light for investment vehicles linked to BTC and Ether futures. Many in the industry have suggested that approving a spot in Bitcoin ETF could increase crypto adoption and potentially increase the acceptance of blockchain technology.