U.S. regulator stands by decision to block Winklevoss bitcoin ETF
27 Jul 2018

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday stood by a decision blocking an exchange-traded fund that would have tracked bitcoin, citing concerns about market manipulation.

The securities regulator found “unpersuasive” arguments that the bitcoin ETF proposed by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, the twin brothers who founded crypto exchange Gemini Trust Co LLC, would be sufficiently protected from manipulation, it said in a 92-page analysis bit.ly/2K3GoWG posted on its website.

“Regulated bitcoin-related markets are in the early stages of their development,” the SEC said, saying that it “cannot…conclude that bitcoin markets are uniquely resistant to manipulation.”

But the SEC did not completely shut the door to such products coming to market once the bitcoin market has matured, offering some hope for at least five other bitcoin ETF proposals that are still pending before the regulator.
Bitcoin turned negative after the SEC’s ruling, and last traded down 2.9 percent.

The virtual currency can be used to move money around the world quickly and with relative anonymity, without the need for a central authority, such as a bank or government.

A fund holding the currency could attract more investors and push its price higher.

The SEC said there was not enough evidence that efforts to thwart manipulation of the ETF’s price or that of the underlying bitcoin market would be successful.

The SEC had blocked the Winklevoss ETF from coming to market in March 2017, but then faced an appeal from exchange operator CBOE’s Bats exchange, which applied to list the ETF.

By Trevor Hunnicutt, Michelle Price, Reuters, 26 July 2018.

Link to Reuters.

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