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SEC asks for more time to approve listing Winklevoss Bitcoin Shares

The Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) today put out a notice informing BATS Global Markets that it still needs more time to determine whether to approve or disapprove a proposed rule change, as for Commodity-Based Trust Shares, to list Winklevoss Bitcoin Shares Issued by the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust. The Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust was founded by Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss to give investors exposure to bitcoin. The brothers are also owners of U.S. regulated cryptocurrency exchange Gemini, which is incorporated as Gemini Trust Company, LLC.

The Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust will issue Winklevoss Bitcoin Shares, which represent units of fractional undivided beneficial interest in and ownership of the Trust. The Trust’s purpose is to hold bitcoin. The Trust is expected to issue and redeem Shares from time to time only in one or more whole blocks of 50,000 Shares (each block of 50,000 Shares is a “Basket”). The Trust will issue and redeem the Shares in Baskets only to certain authorized. Prior to this offering, there has been no public market for the Shares. The Shares will be listed and trade on Bats BZX Exchange, Inc. (BATS) under the symbol COIN.

Kyle Murray, Assistant General Counsel of Bats Global Markets said the following comments to the SEC:

First, Bats would like to acknowledge the thoughtfulness of many of the letters submitted by members of the public during the comment periods and believe that such extensive feedback demonstrates the public’s interest in investment vehicles which allow exposure to digital assets in general and the importance of judicious and transparent guidance and rulemaking by the Commission on this nascent asset class. Bats believes that the Trust, which is sponsored by Digital Asset Services, LLC (the “Sponsor”), represents a robust and carefully designed implementation of an investment vehicle suitable for listing and trading on the Exchange.

The delay stems from various issues which you can read more about in the public comment section on the SEC website. Furthermore, the classification of bitcoin as a commodity in a CFTC judgment against cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex last year means that issue should no longer be an impediment to delaying approval. Time will tell what happens in this case, and we will continue to provide updates on further developments in the listing approval process of the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust.

You can check out the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust registration statement here.

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SEC asks for more time to approve listing Winklevoss Bitcoin Shares

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