The Strategist

SEC refuses to accept Bitcoin ETFs

08/23/2018 - 16:03

On Wednesday, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) refused to launch several tradable index funds (ETFs) tied to Bitcoin. The regulator explained this decision by fears about possible manipulation and fraud in the market of crypto-currencies and the fact that market participants cannot provide investors with sufficient protection against them.

It follows from the SEC statement released last night that the commission refused to satisfy nine bids for trading in ETF index funds linked to Bitcoin and trading in futures for this crypto currency. Applications were filed back in January, but then the SEC abstained from the decision, having decided to ask the heads of investment funds a number of issues. Prior to March, the applications were in the preliminary review stage of the SEC, after which the regulator decided that the issue of allowing Bitcoin-ETF to the stock exchanges required a more thorough check and possible modification of the existing rules related to tradable index funds. The result was yesterday's statement, which refers to refusal to introduce such changes.

Regulators doubt that market participants will be able to adequately resist possible manipulation and fraud to protect their customers and investors. And this contradicts several provisions of the Law on Exchanges, in particular paragraph 5 of Section. 6b, which states that "the rules of the exchange are designed to protect against fraudulent and manipulative actions, for the development of fair and honest principles of trade."

Yesterday's decision of the SEC was another denial of the launch of a derivative exchange instrument tied to Bitcoin. So, in July the commission refused to launch Bitcoin-ETF investment company Winklevoss. At the same time, the SEC emphasizes that this refusal is not based on "evaluating the nature of innovation of Bitcoin or the blockchain technology."

Independent experts note that high volatility of the crypto currency market and frequent manipulations on it can really become an obstacle to their transformation into full-value currencies or exchange-traded instruments, which, however, does not mean a complete denial of the crypto currency and blockchain technology.