Winklevoss Brothers Acquire Crypto ETF Patent

Though the brothers are scoring investment patents, their real-world implementation is still in question.

The first Bitcoin billionaires, the Winklevoss twins, have marked another milestone on the crypto financing market as they acquired a patent for the creation of a long-awaited Bitcoin exchange-traded-fund (ETF).

The United States Patent and Trademark Office awarded a patent to a firm called Winklevoss IP LLP for exchange-traded-products (ETP) on June 19. The patent document details it as a method “for providing an exchange-traded-product holding digital math-based assets.”

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Investopedia defines ETP as “a type of security that is derivatively priced and traded intra-day on a national securities exchange.” ETPs include various investment instrument including ETFs, exchange-traded vehicles (ETVs), exchange-traded notes (ETNs) and certificates.

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Although the patent was awarded to the Winklevoss-backed company, its inventors are the brothers themselves, along with Evan Louis Greebel, Kathleen Hill Moriarty, and Gregory Elias Xethalis.

The Winklevoss twins are likely to list the instrument at Gemini, an exchange backed by them. Earlier this year, Gemini introduced a block trading facility to cater to the increasing number of institutional traders trying to trade in large amounts – especially hedge funds.

The Winklevoss brothers are actively working on crypto trading instruments, and according to publically available data, they have acquired seven crypto-related patents since last December.

However, despite the advancements, it is not clear when these instruments will hit the market, given the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) harsh requirements. Earlier in March 2017, the Winklevoss brothers already tried to list Bitcoin ETFs on exchanges, but the SEC rejected their proposal. Later in December, with the introduction of Bitcoin futures on two exchanges in the US, the crypto community was hoping to see ETFs as well, but due to the strict listing rules imposed by the SEC, that did not happen yet.

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