The deadline looms for the SEC decision on the Winklevoss twins’ Bitcoin Trust.
Over three years ago, the Winklevoss twins — of Facebook dispute fame and current owners of bitcoin exchange Gemini — filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission to approve a bitcoin ETF, named the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust (COIN).
Since then, the proposal has been updated numerous times. The SEC has reportedly asked for public comments and repeatedly put off making a decision. But now, the SEC has run out of deadline extensions, said Forbes. It will reportedly make a call one way or another by March 11 of this year. The bitcoin and cryptocurrency communities at large are mixed on the prospect.
Spencer Bogart, vice president of equity research at Needham & Company, was quoted by Forbes as saying: “I think we need to take into heavy consideration the general conservativeness of the SEC. If you think of this just from a game theory aspect, if I work at the SEC and I approve this ETF and a lot of money flows into it and something goes wrong, there’s a very good chance I could lose my job over that. If I do approve and it goes extremely well, it’s very unlikely someone comes around to pat me on the back or give me a promotion.”
A bitcoin-based ETF could work to quell some of bitcoin’s more unpredictable tendencies, though it would remain on the riskier side as far as investments go.
COIN isn’t the only bitcoin ETF up for consideration at the moment. On Jan. 20, Grayscale Investments LLC filed with the SEC, requesting to have its Bitcoin Investment Trust listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
If the SEC were to approve either fund, it could increase awareness and grow interest in bitcoin among traders. Given SEC approval, a bitcoin trust would operate as a traditional ETF with an asset class appeal similar to that of gold.