Throughout this year, proposals and listings for the Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) keep on getting denied as well as being pushed back by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). This comes after several of the SEC refusals of Bitcoin-based funds which include the SolidX Bitcoin Trust and two separate denials of the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust with the first one being last year and the other being in the summer of 2018.
In the past, the SEC has approved ETFs which track down copper, oil, gold, silver, platinum and so much more but Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies don’t seem to be getting the benefit of the doubt despite being classed as commodities by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Here are some of the reasons why we think the Bitcoin ETF keeps on getting pushed back.
If we take a trip back to 2004, this is when the SPDR Gold Trust was approved. When it was given the approval, the New York Stock Exchange was unable to establish information-sharing agreements linked to spot trading. It didn’t seem possible that agreements would be secured since most gold spot exchanges aren’t very formal and occur through the over-the-counter gold market in London.
In light of this, the SEC decided there were two factors which met its requirements. As reported by Bullion Star:
“First, it claimed that gold OTC markets are very liquid and thus difficult to manipulate. Second, the NYSE with NYMEX, whose COMEX division listed the most popular set of gold futures contracts. Since the COMEX market is a regulated exchange that the SEC deemed ‘significant’, the sharing of information between the NYSE and COMEX would help ensure that manipulation could be caught. The meaning of ‘significant’ is sizable relative to overall trading volumes.”
It seems like the SEC believes that data and information sharing agreements with significant exchanges are vital to compliance with the Securities Exchange Act, the body of legislation which governs the SEC. There is one part of the section of the Act which requires the SEC to make sure that the securities exchanges it regulations which includes BATS BZX Exchange and is designed to prevent fraud and manipulative acts to protect traders in the best interest of the public.
“Not only must an exchange like Bats BZX ensure that it has controls to prevent manipulative behaviour of Bats-listed overlying securities, but it must also take reasonable steps to ensure that the underlying instrument to which it is linked is traded on an exchange that is held to the same standards. The SEC deems that an information sharing agreement between the relevant exchanges is sufficient to fulfill this requirement.”
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