BNY Mellon to Act as Transfer Agent for Bitwise’s Proposed Bitcoin ETF

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Bank of New York Mellon has been appointed to serve as transfer agent and administrator of  Bitwise Asset Management’s proposed Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF). 

Bitwise amended the S-1 form that it submitted to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Sept. 11. The amendment also lists major accounting firm Cohen & Company as auditor, while Boston-based legal firm Foreside Fund Services is listed as the Bitcoin ETF’s marketing agent. 

Whether any of the aforementioned firms will act in their appointed regard depends on an eventual decision to allow the listing by U.S. financial regulators.

The long road to a Bitcoin ETF

In January 2019, Bitwise filed its proposed rule change to the Securities Act of 1933 to list its Bitcoin ETF on NYSE Arca. Since its filing, the ETF has experienced a circuitous series of delays from regulators, who are still nervous about the potential for manipulation in cryptocurrency markets and its subsequent effect on a hypothetical Bitcoin ETF. Most recently, the SEC delayed its decision on the Bitwise ETF to Oct. 13. 

Despite setbacks from regulators, Bitwise CEO Hunter Horsley remains optimistic about its eventual listing. In an August interview, he noted that the SEC has been open regarding its concerns about a Bitcoin ETF, which include issues pertaining to proof of custody. 

SEC Chairman Jay Clayton recently said that progress is being made vis-a-vis a Bitcoin ETF, but the agency still had pressing concerns that need to be addressed, stating, “There is work left to be done.” 

BNY Mellon in blockchain and crypto

BNY Mellon, which has over $33 trillion assets under custody as of December 2018, has previously been involved in the cryptocurrency and blockchain spaces. It partnered with Bakkt to work on a Bitcoin futures trading platform and has been working on blockchain technology since 2015.

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