Cboe and Coinbase reach agreement on terms for Bitcoin ETF

Author: Ben Strack, Compiled by Blockworks, translated by Shann Ou

The latest amendment reflects the language already present in the filings related to a proposed product by BlackRock that Nasdaq submitted.

The Chicago Board Options Exchange (Cboe) is an exchange seeking SEC approval to list several bitcoin ETFs, and it has resubmitted its application with slight modifications to its supervisory sharing agreement with cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase. These amendments seem to indicate that the Cboe is trying to mimic language in filings submitted by rival Nasdaq, which would list spot bitcoin ETFs from BlackRock and Valkyrie if approved.

The Cboe is the exchange on which 21Shares (in collaboration with Ark Invest) proposed a bitcoin product, as well as the planned listings by Fidelity, WisdomTree, VanEck, and Invesco of similar products. In previous filings, the exchange had indicated it was seeking to establish a supervisory sharing agreement (SSA) with a U.S. bitcoin spot trading platform, and subsequently made clear that Coinbase would be the relevant platform. Now, the Cboe’s filings appear to have been modified to state that the exchange and Coinbase “have agreed to terms for the SSA.”

On Tuesday morning, Coinbase’s stock rose by about 10%. Spokespeople for Cboe and Coinbase did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Bloomberg Intelligence analyst James Seyffart highlighted the Cboe’s revisions in a tweet on Tuesday, adding that the filings also state that the Cboe and Coinbase “will finalize and execute a definitive agreement, with execution expected prior to permit-based trust share trading.” Despite the language in the Cboe’s filing now matching that in Nasdaq’s BlackRock spot bitcoin ETF filing, Seyffart said in another tweet that Nasdaq “seems to be going further even with these updates than Cboe/other exchanges.”

According to filings related to BlackRock submitted to Nasdaq on June 29th, the exchange stated it had reached an agreement with Coinbase “on terms” on June 8th, with a corresponding list of terms effective on June 16th. In the Cboe’s filing, it is stated that a similar agreement was reached with Coinbase on June 21st.

The amendment from the Chicago Board Options Exchange came nearly a month after it stunned many by joining the race to launch a bitcoin exchange-traded fund, which has prompted some issuers who previously tried to launch such an ETF to renew their efforts.

Mark Yusko, founder of Morgan Creek Capital, said on the On the Margin podcast that the SEC may allow BlackRock to be the first to launch such a product. Matthew Sigel, head of digital assets research at VanEck, said last month that the SEC should immediately approve all proposals for bitcoin ETFs. “Given that the ETF applications submitted are nearly identical, we believe all issuers should have the same timeline for a bitcoin spot ETF,” Sigel wrote on Twitter. “Stop picking winners!”

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