Hopes for a new way to trade bitcoin were dealt a blow on Friday when US regulators rejected an application that would have let the Winklevoss twins launch an exchange traded fund tracking the digital currency.
The Securities and Exchange Commission said it would not allow Bats Global Markets to list shares of the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust based on concerns that “significant markets for bitcoin are unregulated”.
The ETF would have given investors an easier way to trade bitcoin, which is controlled not by central banks but computer algorithms.
“We remain optimistic and committed to bringing Coin to market, and look forward to continuing to work with the SEC staff. We began this journey almost four years ago, and are determined to see it through,” said Tyler Winklevoss, referring to the ETF’s proposed ticker symbol.
“We agree with the SEC that regulation and oversight are important to the health of any marketplace and the safety of all investors.”
Bitcoin tumbled by as much as 18.4 per cent to $978.76 following the news from the SEC. It had hit an all-time high of $1,277.7 on Monday and this month topped the value of a troy ounce of gold for the first time before falling back.
A spokesperson for Bats said the exchange was reviewing the disapproval notice “with interest”, but could not comment on any next steps.
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