Bitcoin ETF ruling delayed, cryptocurrency market plunges

Bitcoin and the broader cryptocurrency market plunged on Wednesday after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission delayed a decision on whether to approve a proposed bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF).

The federal agency said it will continue deliberations on the bitcoin ETF, which, if approved, would be the first of its kind. The bitcoin ETF, which was first submitted for review by financial firm VanEck and cryptocurrency firm SolidX in June, would allow investors to buy into the cryptocurrency market without purchasing bitcoins on an exchange.

The SEC said it will decide whether to allow the ETF to move forward by September 30.

Bitcoin fell more than 11% to below $6,300 on the news, well off the all-time high of more than $19,000 it achieved in December 2017. The market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies sank to roughly $223 billion, its lowest level so far this year, CoinDesk reported, citing data from CoinMarketCap.

Last month, the SEC rejected a bitcoin ETF backed by investors Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss for the second time. The agency previously denied an attempt to list the ETF in March 2017.

The value of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has plummeted in recent months amid concerns related to cybersecurity and the possibility of regulation.