The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is cracking down on exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that misleadingly use blockchain in their names.
According to Bloomberg, issuers cannot use “materially deceptive or misleading” names under the Investment Company Act of 1940. As a result, more than one-third of thematic ETFs had to change their names last year during the SEC's approval process. For example, one fund that originally included blockchain in its name is now called a “transformational data sharing” ETF.
“We get questions more than we used to where we have to be able to defend our name,” said J. Garrett Stevens, chief executive officer of Exchange Traded Concepts, which runs 26 funds, many of which track thematic indexes. “Now, almost all names, they’ll come back and say ‘Can you justify [and] give us your explanation on why this name is OK?’”
In other news, Corporate Traveller, a U.K. provider of business travel management services to small business (SMB) companies, announced a partnership with BitPay, which will allow Corporate Traveller to accept bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash payments from its customers.
“We identified an increasing demand from our clients for the option to pay in bitcoin for business travel bookings made by our travel consultants," said Andy Hegley, brand leader of Corporate Traveller, in a press release. "We chose BitPay to manage our merchant processing because they make it easy, and handle the entire process of getting the bitcoin or Bitcoin Cash from the customer and depositing cash into our account. The blockchain industry is growing exponentially, and we are excited to be able to offer our clients the ability to pay in bitcoin, whilst having the reassurance of our settlement from BitPay being in pounds sterling. We believe Corporate Traveller is the first business travel management company to offer this payment option to [SMBs] in the U.K.”
Elsewhere, France has asked the European Union to adopt the same crypto regulatory framework it implemented last week.
“I will propose to my European partners that we set up a single regulatory framework on crypto assets, inspired by the French experience,” said France's Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire during a blockchain technology event in Paris, according to Reuters. “Our model is the right one.”
Last week, the French Parliament approved a law that included rules to entice crypto issuers and traders to set up in France by providing some official recognition, while also ensuring that the country can tax their profits.