SEC rejects latest proposal to create bitcoin ETF

Once again, the Securities and Exchange Commission has rejected a proposal to create a bitcoin-backed ETF.

In a statement Wednesday, the SEC said the proposed exchange-traded fund from Bitwise Asset Management and NYSE Arca did not meet standards to prevent fraud and market manipulation.

The SEC said “its disapproval does not rest on an evaluation of whether bitcoin or blockchain technology more generally, has utility or value as an innovation or an investment,” but rather “NYSE Arca has not met its burden under the Exchange Act and the Commission’s Rules of Practice to demonstrate that its proposal is consistent with the requirements of Exchange Act Section 6(b)(5), and, in particular, the requirement that the rules of a national securities exchange be ‘designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices.’”

“We deeply appreciate the SEC’s careful review,” Matt Hougan, Bitwise’s global head of research, said in a statement late Wednesday. “The detailed feedback they have provided in the order provides critical context and a clear pathway for ETF applicants to continue moving forward on efforts to list a bitcoin ETF. We look forward to continuing to productively engage with the SEC to resolve their remaining concerns, and intend to re-file as soon as appropriate.”

A bitcoin ETF would allow investors to invest in the digital coin without having to actually purchase or store it. But the SEC has yet to approve a single bitcoin ETF, citing ongoing fraud and manipulation concerns — exemplifying the significant regulatory hurdles cryptocurrency…

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