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SEC’s Rejection Of The Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust Doesn’t End Bitcoin’s ETF Chances

Saturday, March 11, 2017 5:09
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On Friday, the Securities and Exchange Commission officially rejected the application to bring the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust ETF (NASDAQ:COIN) to market. But the story of Bitcoin in an ETF wrapper doesn’t end there.

That’s because at least two other issuers have pending proposals to bring their own Bitcoin ETFs officially to market.

The first is the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (OTC:GBTC), which actually already trades over-the-counter. Its parent company, the Digital Currency Group, wants to get the issue listed on the NYSE Arca exchange, which is the NYSE’s ETF exchange. The New York Stock Exchange filed a proposed rule change with the SEC back in January aimed at doing just that.

The SEC’s deadline to issue a ruling on that proposal isn’t until Sept. 22, however. If the timeline for the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust ruling is any indicator, the agency won’t act until that deadline approaches.

Thus, it will likely be another six months before we get a “yea” or “nay” from regulators on GBTC.

NYSE Arca also filed another rule-change proposal to list shares of the SolidX Bitcoin Trust (XBTC) back in July 2016. XBTC is another similar product that also aims to be the first officially listed Bitcoin ETF.

In January, the SEC delayed its decision on XBTC, and there’s no clear word on when the official ruling could be handed down.

As MarketWatch notes, GBTC and XBTC have one very important distinction from the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust that could make them more likely to receive approval:

One factor that differentiated the Winklevoss proposal from its rivals was the mechanism for tracking the bitcoin price. The Winklevosses planned to use pricing data gleaned from Gemini, a digital-currency exchange launched in late 2015 that commands less than 1% of the bitcoin market.

Both the Grayscale and SolidX proposals would peg the price to the TradeBlock bitcoin index.

Will that be enough to encourage regulators to approve a Bitcoin ETF? Only time will tell. And the Winklevoss twins aren’t giving up yet, either:

“We began this journey almost four years ago, and are determined to see it through. We agree with the SEC that regulation and oversight are important to the health of any marketplace and the safety of all investors,” said Tyler Winklevoss in a statement.

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