Another Blockchain ETF Has Launched

Source : Another Blockchain ETF Has Launched An exchange-traded fund focused on companies that are working with blockchain or are eyeing applications of the tech has launched today. Innovation Shares LLC’s NextGen Protocol ETF (ticker symbol: KOIN) went live on the NYSE Arca exchange this morning. As of press time, price data via though NYSE shows that trading has begun. The information, as of 9:46 a.m. EST, shows a volume of 2,100 and a price of $24.88 per share. The firm backing the ETF said it is deploying artificial intelligence in a bid to track and include notable companies, with an emphasis on stocks that have a “current or future economic interest in blockchain technology.” Matt Markiewicz, Innovation Shares’ managing director, said in a statement: “Our proprietary patent-pending AI based process allows us to better capture a full range of publicly traded companies that are developing, investing in and utilizing this new protocol.” Exchange Traded Concepts, an ETF provider, is acting as the advisor for the fund. The Innovation Shares launch represents the latest instance of an investment product aimed at taking advantage of the interest – and hype – around the technology. As CoinDesk previously reported, the first blockchain-based ETFs were launched  on both Nasdaq and the NYSE Arca, […] The post Another Blockchain ETF Has Launched appeared first on Bitcoin Wiki.

Letter from SEC Reveals Outlook Not Good for US-based Bitcoin ETFs

Source : Letter from SEC Reveals Outlook Not Good for US-based Bitcoin ETFs Featured The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued a letter to two Washington DC firms seeking guidance on bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETF) applications, of which a dozen are pending. In it, the regulator openly worries about cryptocurrency volatility and whether future potential listings have done enough to protect investors. The letter is widely believed to be a major blow in the quest for Wall Street’s mainstreaming of bitcoin.Also read: Ditch University and High Transaction Fees!Bitcoin ETF Major Setback In a Staff Letter: Engaging on Fund Innovation and Cryptocurrency-related Holdings of 18 January, signed by newly appointed Director Dalia Blass from the Division of Investment Management, the SEC wrote to the Investment Company Institute and Asset Management Group Securities Industry & Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) about the prospects of bitcoin ETFs. The outlook is not good, especially if the letter’s import carries weight within the agency.The letter is clearly written for an audience beyond its two addresses (how many letters have footnotes?). It begins with SEC history and mission statements, outlining its jurisdiction. It also offers up saccharine lines before dealing a deadly sentence. The SEC “stands ready to engage in dialogue with sponsors regarding the potential development of these funds.” And then the phrasing heard around the world: “We believe, however, that there are a number of significant investor protection issues that need to be examined before sponsors begin offering these funds to retail investors.”The agency does “appreciate that proponents of cryptocurrencies and related products have identified a range of potential benefits.” However, “concerns regarding transparency of information, trading, valuation and other matters related to the nature of the underlying assets” seem to be dominating the SEC’s current position. Revealingly, the letter admits “the innovative nature of cryptocurrencies and related products, as well as their expected use and utility in our financial markets, means that they are, in many ways, unlike the types of investments that registered funds currently hold in substantial amounts.”The climate surrounding bitcoin ETFs has gone from frustration to excitement in recent months with the entrance of heavy mainstream exchanges such as Cboe and CME trading futures contracts (and even the appointment, ironically, of Ms. Blass, who was seen as a pro-ETF attorney). It was believed if things went smoothly at these venerable institutions, bitcoin ETFs were a sure thing. Something like a dozen proposals for listings on the New York Stock Exchange Arca have been filed, and not one is approved. The letter continues, “we have, at this time, significant outstanding questions concerning how funds holding substantial amounts of cryptocurrencies and related products would satisfy the requirements of the 1940 Act and its rules.” The rather lengthy missive goes on to ask a laundry list of questions, to “facilitate the start of our dialogue,” and it’s not entirely made understood the agency is really waiting for a response.Dalia BlassQuestions Demanding AnswerGiven their volatility, “Would funds have the information necessary to adequately value …

Plus…Letter from SEC Reveals Outlook Not Good for US-based
Bitcoin ETFs

Letter from SEC Reveals Outlook Not Good for US-based Bitcoin ETFs

Source : Letter from SEC Reveals Outlook Not Good for US-based Bitcoin ETFs The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued a letter to two Washington DC firms seeking guidance on bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETF) applications, of which a dozen are pending. In it, the regulator openly worries about cryptocurrency volatility and whether future potential listings have done enough to protect investors. The letter is widely believed to be a major blow in the quest for Wall Street’s mainstreaming of bitcoin. Also read: Ditch University and High Transaction Fees! Bitcoin ETF Major Setback In a Staff Letter: Engaging on Fund Innovation and Cryptocurrency-related Holdings of 18 January, signed by newly appointed Director Dalia Blass from the Division of Investment Management, the SEC wrote to the Investment Company Institute and Asset Management Group Securities Industry & Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) about the prospects of bitcoin ETFs. The outlook is not good, especially if the letter’s import carries weight within the agency. The letter is clearly written for an audience beyond its two addresses (how many letters have footnotes?). It begins with SEC history and mission statements, outlining its jurisdiction. It also offers up saccharine lines before dealing a deadly sentence. The SEC “stands ready to engage in dialogue with sponsors regarding the potential development of these funds.” And then the phrasing heard around the world: “We believe, however, that there are a number of significant investor protection issues that need to be examined before sponsors begin offering these funds to retail investors.” The agency does “appreciate that proponents of cryptocurrencies and related products have identified a range of potential benefits.” However, “concerns regarding transparency of information, trading, valuation and other matters related to the nature of the underlying assets” seem to be dominating the SEC’s current position. Revealingly, the letter admits “the innovative nature of cryptocurrencies and related products, as well as their expected use and utility in our financial markets, means that they are, in many ways, unlike the types of investments that registered funds currently hold in substantial amounts.” The climate surrounding bitcoin ETFs has gone from frustration to excitement in recent months with the entrance of heavy mainstream exchanges such as Cboe and CME trading futures contracts (and even the appointment, ironically, of Ms. Blass, who was seen as a pro-ETF attorney). It was believed if things went smoothly at these venerable institutions, bitcoin ETFs were a sure thing. Something like a dozen proposals for listings on the New York Stock Exchange Arca have been filed, and not one is approved. The letter continues, “we have, at this time, significant outstanding questions concerning how funds holding substantial amounts of cryptocurrencies and related products would satisfy the requirements of the 1940 Act and its rules.” The rather lengthy missive goes on to ask a laundry list of questions, to “facilitate the start of our dialogue,” and it’s not entirely made understood the agency is really waiting for a response. Dalia BlassQuestions Demanding Answer Given their volatility, “Would funds have …

Plus…Letter from SEC Reveals Outlook Not Good for US-based Bitcoin ETFs

The First Blockchain ETFs Began Trading on NASDAQ and NYSE’s Arca Yesterday

Source : The First Blockchain ETFs Began Trading on NASDAQ and NYSE’s Arca Yesterday Reality Shares Advisors and Amplify Trust ETF launched BLCN and BLOK ETFs — the first blockchain-based exchange-traded funds. The trading started on Nasdaq and the New York Stock Exchange Arca yesterday The post The First Blockchain ETFs Began Trading on NASDAQ and NYSE’s Arca Yesterday appeared first on CoinSpeaker. Continue reading at Coinspeaker

Cboe Bitcoin Contracts Slide 36 Percent as January Futures Expire

Source : Cboe Bitcoin Contracts Slide 36 Percent as January Futures Expire Featured Chicago Board Option Exchange (Cboe) historic bitcoin futures market has had its first month, and results are decidedly mixed depending on the analyst. Some see the experiment as a dud, while others champion the mainstreaming of cryptocurrency. So far, bears are trouncing bulls.  Also read: Have Lunch with Bitcoin Jesus!Cboe Futures Didn’t Tame Bitcoin That run-up though! Coming bitcoin futures in December of last year were supposed to bring about mainstreaming and liquidity galore in the ecosystem. Oh, what a difference a little over a month makes. 17 January 2018 is a marker which will help professional investors analyze the facts of the matter. It’s the official expiration of Cboe bitcoin futures contracts, and at present the verdict appears to be, well, mixed. The world as we know it did not end, as some Wall Street pros worried, despite two rather dramatic price flubs, including the current dip as of this writing. Volume was mostly flat, dominated by foreign trading.It appears bitcoin can be shorted successfully, though maximalists scorned even the possibility, as net figures from the CFTC witness: shorts clicked over 1,900 contracts in the new year’s second week according to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). The CFTC is expected to testify before congress at the end of this month about cryptocurrencies. Lawmakers in the US have been eager to get a handle on just what is happening in a market few understand.Since Cboe’s entrance into the ecosystem, bitcoin has given up a quarter of its value and has dropped a staggering 36 percent in spot price, dipping beneath even the coveted champagne mark of 10,000 USD.The Future of FuturesFutures took on greater significance beyond the hype to include widespread hope the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) would allow exchange-traded funds (ETFs) on well-known markets like the New York Stock Exchange Arca (NYSE), but even that has proven not to be the case thus far. Two funds just recently pulled their applications as a dozen more are awaiting approval. This year, Cantor Fitzgerald and Nasdaq are expected to jump into the fray, though plans can change if the price continues to bottom and volume remains blah. Out-front firm Gemini Exchange (they’re appealing ETF rejection from the SEC) is the auction from which bitcoin price in USD is determined for Cboe.Its crosstown rival, Chicago Merc (CME), has contracts expiring on 26 January. Cboe investors are expected to close contracts without much trouble, and usually futures are folded into the following month. Usually. This is crypto. Because settling is done in government paper, buying and selling orgies could monkey with prices at the very end as arbitrage fever takes hold. Wall Street needs steady. This is why it simultaneously complains but ultimately welcomes government intervention by way of regulation so they can be insulated. But, again, this is crypto. Big daddy government can’t save them. Still, relatively calm closings of contracts consistently could lead to what …

Plus…Cboe Bitcoin Contracts Slide 36 Percent as January Futures
Expire

Cboe Bitcoin Contracts Slide 36 Percent as January Futures Expire

Source : Cboe Bitcoin Contracts Slide 36 Percent as January Futures Expire Chicago Board Option Exchange (Cboe) historic bitcoin futures market has had its first month, and results are decidedly mixed depending on the analyst. Some see the experiment as a dud, while others champion the mainstreaming of cryptocurrency. So far, bears are trouncing bulls.   Also read: Have Lunch with Bitcoin Jesus! Cboe Futures Didn’t Tame Bitcoin That run-up though! Coming bitcoin futures in December of last year were supposed to bring about mainstreaming and liquidity galore in the ecosystem. Oh, what a difference a little over a month makes. 17 January 2018 is a marker which will help professional investors analyze the facts of the matter. It’s the official expiration of Cboe bitcoin futures contracts, and at present the verdict appears to be, well, mixed. The world as we know it did not end, as some Wall Street pros worried, despite two rather dramatic price flubs, including the current dip as of this writing. Volume was mostly flat, dominated by foreign trading. It appears bitcoin can be shorted successfully, though maximalists scorned even the possibility, as net figures from the CFTC witness: shorts clicked over 1,900 contracts in the new year’s second week according to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). The CFTC is expected to testify before congress at the end of this month about cryptocurrencies. Lawmakers in the US have been eager to get a handle on just what is happening in a market few understand. Since Cboe’s entrance into the ecosystem, bitcoin has given up a quarter of its value and has dropped a staggering 36 percent in spot price, dipping beneath even the coveted champagne mark of 10,000 USD. The Future of Futures Futures took on greater significance beyond the hype to include widespread hope the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) would allow exchange-traded funds (ETFs) on well-known markets like the New York Stock Exchange Arca (NYSE), but even that has proven not to be the case thus far. Two funds just recently pulled their applications as a dozen more are awaiting approval. This year, Cantor Fitzgerald and Nasdaq are expected to jump into the fray, though plans can change if the price continues to bottom and volume remains blah. Out-front firm Gemini Exchange (they’re appealing ETF rejection from the SEC) is the auction from which bitcoin price in USD is determined for Cboe. Its crosstown rival, Chicago Merc (CME), has contracts expiring on 26 January. Cboe investors are expected to close contracts without much trouble, and usually futures are folded into the following month. Usually. This is crypto. Because settling is done in government paper, buying and selling orgies could monkey with prices at the very end as arbitrage fever takes hold. Wall Street needs steady. This is why it simultaneously complains but ultimately welcomes government intervention by way of regulation so they can be insulated. But, again, this is crypto. Big daddy government can’t save them. Still, relatively calm closings of …

Plus…Cboe Bitcoin Contracts Slide 36 Percent as January Futures Expire

Biting the Dust: Bitcoin ETF Applications Forced to Withdraw Under SEC Scrutiny

Source : Biting the Dust: Bitcoin ETF Applications Forced to Withdraw Under SEC Scrutiny AdvertisementGet Trading Recommendations and Read Analysis on Hacked.com for just $39 per month.Several exchange-traded fund (ETF) providers have withdrawn their bitcoin ETF applications at the request of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).Since the launch of bitcoin futures contracts on regulated US exchanges CBOE and CME, a myriad of fund providers have tossed their hats into the ring in a bid to bring the first bitcoin ETF to market by creating funds that would trade bitcoin futures rather than the underlying asset itself.This group included Direxion Shares ETF Trust, a firm that desired to create leveraged bitcoin funds that would multiply bitcoin’s price movements. Direxion withdrew its application on Jan. 8, citing the SEC’s concern over the liquidity of the futures markets.“On a call with the Staff on January 5, 2018, the Staff expressed concerns regarding the liquidity and valuation of the underlying instruments in which the Fund intends to primarily invest and requested that the Trust withdraw the Amendment until such time as these concerns are resolved. In response to the Staff’s request, the Trust respectfully requests withdrawal of the Amendment,” Direxion’s Angela Brickl wrote in the firm’s withdrawal letter.The SEC’s stance toward Direxion’s proposed funds is not entirely surprising. The funds were roundly criticized by mainstream analysts for aiming to introduce heightened risk into markets that are already incredibly volatile.However, a litany of other fund providers have withdrawn their bitcoin ETF applications as well. VanEck, First Trust Advisors, Exchange Listed Funds Trust (ELF), and ProShares Trust have all filed letters requesting to have their applications withdrawn. None of these firms intended to exercise leverage through their proposed funds, although several sought to offer inverse ETFs, which are designed to return the opposite of the index and are generally considered to be riskier than long ETFs.ProShares’ withdrawal is notable given that the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) had sought to list its bitcoin funds on its Arca trading platform. The NYSE had also filed to list Direxion’s leveraged bitcoin ETFs.The withdrawals of ELF and First Trust, meanwhile, are significant because the SEC had asked for public comment on CBOE’s proposed rule change that would have allowed the exchange to list these funds and exempt them from certain market manipulation regulations.This is not the first time that fund providers have withdrawn bitcoin ETF applications under SEC pressure, but many analysts predicted that the launch of bitcoin futures would quickly lead to regulatory approval for these products.Featured image from Shutterstock.Follow us on Telegram.Advertisement

Leveraged Bitcoin ETFs on the Horizon

Source : Leveraged Bitcoin ETFs on the Horizon With the massive rise in the price of bitcoin in 2017 and into 2018, a lot of mainstream attention has focused on digital currencies. This has seen the introduction of bitcoin futures towards the end of 2017 which allowed many institutional investors easier access into the markets. Now the latest race between many of the major fund managers in the United States is to see who can be the first to further tap into the massive market that is digital currencies by creating a number of new bitcoin-related investment products called exchange-traded funds (ETFs) for people to invest their money into. Having perhaps missed out on some of the significant gains made by bitcoin throughout 2017, investors need not fear as they can double their profits potentially when they invest into the planned bitcoin leveraged ETFs. When these ETF products are eventually introduced, the markets could take off in a significant manner which will be extremely interesting to watch. The types of funds that are in the works include the likes of leverage funds that would see profits/losses rising or falling twice as much as the changes in the price of bitcoin on a given day. This means that profits will be either be doubled or losses doubled if you invest in this type of leveraged ETF. An inverse ETF is used to short a particular market or sector, effectively betting that the value of bitcoin will decrease in this case. While they are awaiting approval from the US securities regulator, Direxion Asset Management have plans in place to introduce these types of products on the Intercontinental Exchange’s Arca exchange as per a filing that was submitted at the end of 2017. Contained within the filing is a comment about the belief the fund has in these types of products, saying they “will enhance competition among market participants, to the benefit of investors and the marketplace.” As bitcoin is decentralized, meaning that users can conduct the transaction in a relatively anonymous manner compared to dealing with governments or banks, it is quickly becoming more and more adopted by the mainstream public. There are many asset managers who are in a race with another to see who will be the first to have their bitcoin-related products approved by the relevant authorities and start accepting investor money. Very often in the world of finance, the fund that gets a certain type of new investment product on the market the quickest ends up hoovering up a significant portion of investors’ money. If these new ETFs are brought to the markets, this will mean that all types of investor will have better access to investing in bitcoin, allowing higher amounts to be invested than previously was possible. It will also dramatically add to the already volatile price movements of the cryptocurrency as these changes will be magnified. While there have been many proposals made by fund managers, to date the United States Securities and Exchange Commission …

Plus…Leveraged Bitcoin ETFs on the Horizon

Two More Bitcoin ETF Proposals Withdrawn

Source : Two More Bitcoin ETF Proposals Withdrawn The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reportedly informed two bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) aspirants their cryptocurrency products lack enough liquidity and are problematic in discovering valuation. Also read: Bitcoin Turns 9 Years Old Two Firms Withdraw Bitcoin ETF Proposals from SEC Wall Street’s main regulatory body, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), sent chills down bitcoin ETF hopefuls, as the regulator reportedly expressed concerns about the potential of bitcoin futures bundled together as a tradable stock, according to reports. The regulator is gatekeeper to listings on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), and has received somewhere near a dozen applications for bitcoin ETFs. Worries about “valuation” and “liquidity” were cited in withdrawal filings, according to reports. Withdrawals came Monday, 8 January 2018, just days after a headline-making ETF product was formally proposed. Direxion Asset Management’s asked no fewer than five ETFs be traded on the NYSE Arca, and those funds substantially increase risk exposure. In late December of last year, Chicago Board Options Exchange (Cboe) formally petitioned the regulator too in hopes of having half a dozen ETFs traded on the Bats BZX exchange. Indeed with the advent of Cboe futures contract markets being made (along with crosstown rival CME), there was widespread optimism over the SEC policy. The agency wished to ensure viability of a financial product was first in place before going ahead on bitcoin ETFs. That standard seemed to be met by the two Chicago exchanges. By mid December, the agency hired a former ETF advisor to head a critical division in these matters. And by Fall of last year, even Bank of America was predicting giant potential for bitcoin ETFs. All seemed a go. SEC vs CFTC And then, “Trusts controlled by Rafferty Asset Management LLC and Exchange Traded Concepts LLC each canceled plans to launch three bitcoin funds that could be traded by retail investors as easily as stocks,” Reuters announced. If the bitcoin ETF prospects are murky, one thing is crystal clear: US government financial regulators are confusing the very industry they’re designed to facilitate. As noted, bitcoin futures are already being traded in two very established exchanges, and things appear to be going well apart from the relative lack of excitement set against early expectations. Those markets are overseen by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). The CFTC has been unusually welcoming despite a lot of pressure to reject crypto entrants into the mainstream. They’re even agreeing to testify before Congress at the end of this month to give lawmakers a status report. By contrast, the SEC has dragged the process along for crypto funds. This is at least the third firm to withdraw from their process. Even its former Chair has suggested the agency wants no part of this brave new currency world, describing the SEC as woefully unprepared. As of this writing, neither of the two latest firms to withdraw have publicly commented on the matter, nor has the SEC. Do you …

Plus…Two More Bitcoin ETF Proposals Withdrawn

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