The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has unveiled its decision to reconsider the Winklevoss bitcoin ETF. The announcement follows the application of CBOE Holdings’s Bats exchange to list the ETF and its appeal to the commission to review the refusal.
Last month, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) denied approval of the first Bitcoin ETF. The refusal came unexpected although 72% of unbiased advisors believed in the ETF approval. The refusal clogged more-than-three-year efforts of investors Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss to bring the Bitcoin ETF to market.
The ruin of Winklevoss’s dreams placed the Bitcoin’s future in the U.S. in doubt. Cryptocurrency experts offered to try other ways such as a filing in Europe for an Undertaking in Collective Investments in Transferable Securities (or UCITS) stamp, which will enable the creation of ETFs to trade the cryptocurrency across the continent and, by proxy, in Asia and Africa. The availability of other loopholes might be the primary reason for a quick recovery of Bitcoin after the announcement of the SEC decision.
The SEC stated regulatory uncertainty and the risk of fraud as main reasons for the rejection.
“As discussed further below, the Commission is disapproving this proposed rule change because it does not find the proposal to be consistent with Section 6(b)(5) of the Exchange Act, which requires, among other things, that the rules of a national securities exchange be designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices and to protect investors and the public interest,” the SEC said.
“The Commission believes that, in order to meet this standard, an exchange that lists and trades shares of commodity-trust exchange-traded products (“ETPs”) must, in addition to other applicable requirements, satisfy two requirements that are dispositive in this matter. First, the exchange must have surveillance-sharing agreements with significant markets for trading the underlying commodity or derivatives on that commodity. And second, those markets must be regulated.”
The decision of the agency at once had an impact on the Bitcoin price. Once the refusal was announced, the value of the cryptocurrency came down to as low as 980%, showing a 35% slump during the day. Afterwards, it easily recovered to more than $1100. As of the moment of writing, Bitcoin is traded at $1,276.
As a cryptocurrency, Bitcoin is attractive for its ability to move money around the world quickly and with relative anonymity. Besides, it doesn’t require a central authority, such as a bank or government, for transactions. A fund holding the currency could attract more professional investors and cause the price boost.
But it is hard to deny that along with apparent advantages, Bitcoin presents a number of risks including its limited adoption, a number of massive cybersecurity breaches affecting bitcoin owners, and the lack of consistent treatment of the assets by governments.