Nasdaq and Cboe, two prominent exchanges, are making significant moves in pursuing spot Bitcoin ETFs. Nasdaq has recently refiled a 19b-4 form for the iShares Bitcoin Trust, with BlackRock leading the way. The filing includes plans for a surveillance-sharing agreement with Coinbase.
Nasdaq’s refiling follows similar actions from the Cboe exchange last week, as both exchanges seek regulatory approval. In response to concerns from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regarding the clarity and comprehensiveness of recent filings by BlackRock and Fidelity for spot Bitcoin ETFs, Nasdaq and Cboe are taking measures to address these concerns and ensure robust market surveillance.
Nasdaq’s refiled 19b-4 form outlines its intention to establish a bilateral surveillance-sharing agreement, the Spot BTC SSA, between Nasdaq and Coinbase. This agreement is designed to supplement Nasdaq’s existing market surveillance program. According to the filing, the exchange anticipates finalizing a “definitive agreement” with Coinbase before the commencement of trading, signaling a commitment to enhancing oversight and addressing regulatory concerns.
The SEC’s cautious approach to spot Bitcoin ETFs stems from its persistent fraud and market manipulation concerns. In response to the SEC’s feedback, Cboe swiftly updated its filings for separate spot Bitcoin ETF proposals, including one by Fidelity, and incorporated language indicating its plans to establish surveillance-sharing agreements with Coinbase. Nasdaq’s initial proposal for the BlackRock fund was submitted last month.
The partnership between Nasdaq, Cboe, and Coinbase marks a significant step toward the realization of spot Bitcoin ETFs. These collaborations demonstrate a commitment to improving market surveillance and addressing regulatory concerns, bringing digital asset investment opportunities closer to fruition.