Cryptocurrencies Head Lower as SEC Delays Decision on Bitcoin ETFs

Cryptocurrencies overall headed lower on Tuesday after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission delayed its decision on whether to approve three proposals for bitcoin exchange-traded funds.

Total cryptocurrency market capitalization decreased to $289.17 billion by 10:49 AM ET (14:49 GMT), compared to $297.94 billion a day earlier.

Bitcoin, the largest digital currency by market capitalization, fell 3.5% to $10,994.2 on the Investing.com Index, while among its closest rivals Ethereum lost 2.1% to $206.64 and XRP declined 2.2% to $0.2952.

Bitcoin Cash, the fourth-largest altcoin, was the only digital currency out of the ten largest to register gains, trading up 1.4% to $335.62.

Litecoin, meanwhile, dropped 2.5% to $84.591.

Proposals from VanEck SolidX, Bitwise Asset Management and Wilshire Phoenix for bitcoin ETFs were delayed until mid-October, according to an SEC document released overnight.

"The Commission finds it appropriate to designate a longer period within which to issue an order approving or disapproving the proposed rule change so that it has sufficient time to consider this proposed rule change," the document said.

SEC Chairman Jay Clayton had warned in June that the regulator would need to be certain of the safety of bitcoin custodial services before it would be willing to approve an ETF.

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