WisdomTree takes new crack at Bitcoin ETF despite prior rejections. Why this time may be different

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WisdomTree is attempting to launch a spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund even though its peers have failed.

The firm filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission last week, making it its second bitcoin ETF application after an initial rejection two years ago.

However, WisdomTree’s Jeremy Schwartz believes this time could be different. 

“We’ve been able to successfully launch products in Europe,” the firm’s global chief investment officer said on CNBC’s “ETF Edge” this week. “The European regulators have been more friendly, and they’ve been able to get comfortable with the mechanisms, the custodians [and] how the markets work.”

The SEC rejected WisdomTree’s previous applications in 2021 and 2022 on the notion they came in short to protect investors and the public interest.

Schwartz hopes the changes made in the firm’s updated filing will satisfy regulators.

“Some of the new filings have these data sharing agreements, surveillance sharing, new ways of doing it,” he said. “Now the question is: Will that address the SEC’s concern on market manipulation? But that is one of the things I think we’re all trying to address.”

WisdomTree’s latest launch effort comes during an increased appetite for bitcoin. As of late Friday, prices are up almost 84% so far this year.

“It’s hard for me to comment too much about all the details while you’re in these [filing] periods,” Schwartz said when “ETF Edge” host Bob Pisani asked him why he thinks the SEC will approve the spot bitcoin ETF this time. “But I think the key is, will the exchanges share data … and [will the SEC] have more comfort than what was previously done before? I think the data sharing agreements are the key element for that.”

It appears interest is climbing.

According to an SEC filing this week, Fidelity Investments is also trying to launch a spot bitcoin ETF despite its prior failures. It joins WisdomTree, BlackRock, VanEck and Invesco.

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