Bitcoin [BTC] ETF: Chairman Jay Clayton still on the fence citing ease of market manipulation

  15 Mar 2019

The Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC], Jay Clayton, is still on the fence about the hotly anticipated Bitcoin ETF, citing a list of conditions that should be met prior to its approval.

In a recent interview with FOX Business, Clayton stated that his concern with giving the green light to public trading of Bitcoin was the digital asset’s vulnerability to manipulation. Citing the volatility of the coin, the Chairman wanted to ensure investors were kept safe from untoward market movements.

Clayton stated,

“What I’m concerned about at the moment is if it can be reasonably demonstrated that the underlying trading is generally not manipulated, it’s happening on reliable venues with good rules and that custody is something we can feel comfortable about.”

The SEC is looking at proposals from several companies regarding the ETF. Last year, Clayton rejected one of those from the Gemini exchange founders, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss.

VanEck, an investment firm, SolidX, a financial services company and the Chicago Boards Options Exchange [CBOE], still await a decision on their bid for the Bitcoin ETF, which was filed back in January. The crypto-centric financial firm, Bitwise Asset Management had also sent their application for the ETF in February.

The Chairman clarified that he hadn’t decided which company will spearhead the ETF project, nor did he opine whether any of the applicants satisfied the rules of the issuance. However, the SEC will make a decision regarding the Bitcoin ETF in the coming months, he said.

Despite the Chairman’s uneasiness with approving the cryptocurrency Exchange Traded Fund, he hailed the technology behind Bitcoin,

“I think this technology has and is already demonstrating pretty significant promise, but it’s demonstrating significant promise in the places where it’s consistent with our approach to capital raising in the past.”

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