The Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust has amended its registration statement for its proposed exchange traded fund (ETF), “Winklevoss Bitcoin Shares”, to state the following:
“The Shares represent units of fractional undivided beneficial interest in and ownership of the Trust and are expected to be traded under the ticker symbol “COIN” on the NASDAQ.”
The proposed fund was registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) earlier this year. While the fund even reportedly showed up on Bloomberg terminals, it has not yet been approved. The entire registration statement can be viewed here.
The fund offers investors exposure to the value of bitcoins through regulated channels. It plans to track Bitcoin’s value through a “Winkdex”, which tracks it exponential moving average (EMA) of prices on the following exchanges: BTC-e, Bitstamp and Bitfinex. These support the highest volumes of BTC/USD trading.
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One wonders if MtGox would have been included prior to its troubles, and how its failure would be handled. Prior to its collapse, it had dominated global bitcoin trading volume. In a section dealing with risk factors, the document states:
“The Bitcoin Exchanges on which bitcoins trade are relatively new and, in most cases, largely unregulated and may therefore be more exposed to fraud and failure than established, regulated exchanges for other products. To the extent that the Bitcoin Exchanges representing a substantial portion of the volume in bitcoin trading are involved in fraud or experience security failures or other operational issues, such Bitcoin Exchanges’ failures may result in a reduction in the Winkdex spot price and can adversely affect an investment in the Shares.”
Despite the Winklevoss twins’ highly upbeat outlook on Bitcoin, they had no choice but to disclose such risks when it comes to registration with the SEC. This is well illustrated in the following statement:
“In addition, investors should be aware that there is no assurance that bitcoins will maintain their long-term value in terms of purchasing power in the future or that the acceptance of bitcoin payments by mainstream retail merchants and commercial businesses will continue to grow. In the event that the price of bitcoins declines, the Sponsor expects the value of an investment in the Shares to decline proportionately.”