SEC Extends Decision On WisdomTree’s Bitcoin ETF Application

The U.S Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has postponed its decision on WisdomTree’s Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) application.

SEC Seeks Public Comments On WisdomTree’s Application

The SEC pushed back its decision to get feedback from the public on WisdomTree’s application. According to the federal securities regulator, public comments would help ascertain whether the ETF would be safe for investors.

The public would be required to communicate their position on whether the ETF should be approved or denied.

The SEC also wants to know if the public thinks that the proposed Bitcoin ETF would be susceptible to market manipulation. It also intends to determine if the ETF is designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices. The SEC explained,

“The Exchange asserts that the manipulation concerns previously articulated by the Commission are sufficiently mitigated to the point that quantifiable investor protection issues outweigh them.”

Members of the public are expected to submit their comments to the Federal Register within 21 days, while rebuttals would be filed 35 days from publication.

The SEC is still struggling to decide on whether to approve an ETF or not. This is the second time the regulator is asking for public comment on the same WisdomTree’s application.

The first time the commission asked for public comments was in April this year, a month after WisdomTree first filed its Bitcoin ETF application. On May 26, the SEC designated even a longer time to approve or disapprove WisdomTree’s proposed rule change.

WisdomTree has been working on ETFs since last year.

In June 2020, the firm applied for an ETF focused majorly on agriculture, energy, and metals, in which 5% of the assets would be invested in Bitcoin futures contracts. In addition to its Bitcoin ETF, the firm also filed for an Ethereum ETF in May this year.

WisdomTree Investments was founded in 2006 as an asset management firm based in the US. The company has subsidiaries in Canada, Europe, and Japan and was established by Jonathan Steinberg.

The SEC Continues Stalling ETF Applications

The SEC is still reviewing several applications for both Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs. Some of the applications have come from firms like VanEck, Kryptoin, and Fidelity. The regulator is yet to approve any crypto ETF within the US.

Proponents claim that a Bitcoin ETF can help investors by creating a more regulated market. Yet, the SEC continues to stall while citing volatility and market manipulation as key concerns in rejecting the ETF applications.

Former chairman of the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), Timothy Massad, recently urged the SEC to approve a Bitcoin ETF. In a Bloomberg opinion piece, Massad said the SEC should look into approving an ETF in a way that would enhance transparency and integrity in the industry.

SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce has also made solid points supporting the approval of a Bitcoin ETF. According to CNBC, Peirce said a Bitcoin ETF approval is overdue and argued that the rejections for such funds are a kind of double standard.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

VanEck Files for the First Ethereum ETF in the US

While awaiting a decision on its Bitcoin ETF, which the Securities and Exchange Commission has postponed to July, VanEck filed for an Ethereum exchange-traded fund (ETF).

If approved, the VanEck Ethereum Trust would hold Ether and value its shares daily based on the MVIS CryptoCompare Ethereum benchmark rate and list those shares on the Cboe BZX Exchange, as per the filing with the SEC.

While the first one in America, already three Ether ETFs are trading in Canada after making their debut last month.

“Canada approving Ethereum ETFs so quickly on the heels of Bitcoin ETFs is part of the reasoning for this filing,” said James Seyffart, ETF analyst for Bloomberg Intelligence.

“I don’t see the SEC approving an Ethereum ETF until we have a Bitcoin ETF that has already begun trading. It’s possible that other issuers will follow suit because VanEck has been leading the charge with these filings in the last five months or so.”

While at least eleven companies are looking to launch a crypto ETF, US regulators have yet to approve a single one. Nine companies have filed for applications since the end of 2020.

Meanwhile, a small exchange-traded fund that changed its ticker to BTC last month is now reversing the move.

The issuer of ClearShares Piton Intermediate Fixed Income ETF said in a brief filing with the SEC this week that it will revert to the ticker PIFI from May 11, without any explanations for the same.

While initially, it looked like a bull market thing, a company trying to ride the coattails of crypto’s success, later, as we reported, there was speculation that Grayscale Investment might be the one looking to launch its ETF through ClearShares.

Grayscale said at the time that it was taking a stake in ClearShares and then later announced that it was “100% committed” its GBTC product into an ETF.

This switch to ETF resulted in assets in the Piton Intermediate Fixed Income ETF almost doubling to $62 million, with all of the new inflow coming in a single day shortly after the symbol change to BTC.

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Author: AnTy

150,000 Bitcoin Coming Back to Mt. Gox Creditors in 10 Days; Will BTC Price Drop?

After being postponed several times, the hacked Mt. Gox Bitcoin will finally be sent to the rightful owners of those BTC in 10 days’ time, i.e., October 15, 2020.

The last date of the rehabilitation plan was July, set in March this year by the Tokyo District Court.

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The Japan-based Bitcoin exchange was launched in 2010, which was managing 70% of all bitcoin transactions worldwide. Former Ripple CTO Jed McCaleb was the one behind this exchange but sold it to Mark Karpelés just after three months.

Between 2011 and 2013, the exchange reported the loss of around 840k BTC, about 6% of all bitcoin in existence at the time. The initial loss of funds sent the price of one Bitcoin on the exchange to just one cent. At the time of writing, BTC/USD has been trading at $10,700.

The company announced bankruptcy, and although 650,000 BTC were never recovered, 200,000 BTC were in fact recovered.

At one point, Mt. Gox was investigated by the US Department of Homeland, and a former business partner sued to claim a breach of contract.

Mt. Gox creditors have been empty-handed for a long time due to the ongoing bankruptcy process until a Japanese court finally put a rest to it and put it under rehabilitation law.

Volatility Coming for Bitcoin?

After going through various deadline postponements, the day could finally be here. This has rattled some of the market participants who believe this could have a “catastrophic impact” on the price of BTC. According to one such participant,

“If 150,000 BTC is sold on the market, it would cause a brutal drop, and fear would quickly spread across the markets.” This is because creditors will take the opportunity to take profits on the “over 2,600% ROI from 2014.”

However, it is a very real possibility that bitcoin won’t react at all. In 2020, we saw MicroStrategy bring about $425 million worth of BTC that did not affect whatsoever on the price of the leading digital asset.

These past couple of weeks, we also saw big news like the $281 million KuCoin hack, CFTC bringing criminal charges on popular crypto derivatives exchange BitMEX, and the US President Donald Trump testing coronavirus postie having a ‘zilch” effect on the price of BTC.

Bitcoin has become almost boring for many traders, with its 180-day volatility falling to a two-year low. The digital asset is holding strong to its $10k mark; as a matter of fact, Bitcoin’s winning streak of sustaining above $10,000 has made a new high of 70 days. As per data source IntoTheBlock,

“The IOMAP shows that over 1.45 million BTC was purchased by 1.76 million addresses between $10,427 and $10,736.81. This is expected to (and has been) an area of strong support.”

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Author: AnTy

RBI Crypto Ban Hearing in India Postponed by the Supreme Court, Is This Good or Bad?

The Indian Supreme Court has postponed the hearing on Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) case related to crypto businesses.

Ever since the RBI implemented its ban on crypto dealings at banks in April 2018, crypto firms and exchanges in India have had a very tough time. Many petitions, both public and industry-related, have been signed. More than this, the decision has been taken to courts and called unconstitutional. The Internet & Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) is the non-profit body that appeals to the government when it comes to such matters, and the one that brought the case to court.

The Court’s Action Regarded as Positive

Kashif Raza, the co-founder of India-based analysis and regulatory news platform Crypto Kanoon, says the case’s principal contention is to appeal the ban on the grounds of being unconstitutional. He also commented that the latest action taken by the court is very positive, these being his own words:

“Today RBI was supposed to reply to the representation filed by IAMAI […] It seems that the Supreme Court of India today passed over the matter primarily because the court expects there to be longer arguments in this case, which could take their entire week. They gave it a pass so as to allow in future for a full-fledged hearing of the arguments, to listen to both parties. So interesting times ahead.”

The Indian Crypto Climate is Adverse

The ban had brought quite the extensive toll for the Indian crypto industry, with exchanges like WazirX being forced to go P2P so that in-house crypto to fiat conversions are avoided, and Coindelta terminating is services altogether. Uncertainty seems to be the word of the moment, as in the fall of 2019, the Indian government had delayed introducing a contentious draft bill on crypto banning. The bill dubbed “Banning of Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currencies” doesn’t only intend to ban using crypto in India, but also to make things easier for RBI to launch the Digital Rupee.

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Author: Oana Ularu