SEC Prohibits Trading in Two Cryptocurrency ETFs

The American regulator says that there is confusion surrounding Bitcoin Tracker One and Ether Tracker One.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is continuing its efforts to push back against cryptocurrency-based exchange traded funds (ETFs). This Sunday, the American regulator announced that it would prohibit trading, for US investors, in Bitcoin Tracker One and Ether Tracker One until at least the 20th of September 2018.

Listed on the NASDAQ/OMX exchange in Stockholm, investors in Bitcoin Tracker One and Ether Tracker One can track the BTC/USD and ETH/USD prices respectively. Both securities are provided by XBT Provider AB – a Swedish company, owned by CoinShares, with headquarters in Stockholm.

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XBT Provider AB does not actually describe the two securities as ETFs. Instead it calls them “non-equity linked securities.” In contrast, the SEC released a statement noting that the securities have been described by others as ETFs or exchange traded notes.

“There is a lack of current, consistent and accurate information concerning Bitcoin Tracker One and Ether Tracker One,” said the regulator, “resulting in confusion amongst market participants regarding these financial instruments.”

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Application denied – SEC and crypto ETFs

The SEC will not be issuing a total ban on the trading of the securities. According to the regulator’s statement, investors will be allowed to liquidate any positions they hold in the two securities.

Cryptocurrency ETFs have been a major bugbear for the SEC. Over the past couple of months, the regulator has rejected or delayed two serious applications for ETFs.

The Winklewoss twins, the famous Bitcoin billionaires, had an application rejected for a Bitcoin ETF in July. Anticipation surrounding the ETF had pushed the price of the cryptocurrency up by almost $2,000.

In September, the SEC delayed its decision regarding a Bitcoin ETF until the end of the month. The application was submitted by VanEck, an investment management firm based in New York.

The most recent news surrounding cryptocurrency ETFs came last Friday. As Finance Magnates reported, there are ongoing suggestions that BlackRock and CoinBase will be launching their own cryptocurrency ETF.

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