One of the recurring themes in the digital asset markets across 2018 and 2019 has been the failure of multiple Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF) applications to gain the approval of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.
Each new application was met with anticipation, only to be dismissed for the same reason: concern over how the ETF would derive its price, whether this price could be manipulated, and if the listing exchange could adequately meet section 6(b)(5) of the Exchange Act. This section states, in part, that:
“The rules of the exchange are designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices, to promote just and equitable principles of trade…” (17 USC 78f (b)(5)).
The common thread between all of these applications was a plan to create the reference price — the price, at which assets are valued and benchmarked — from retail exchange data. For example, the Winklevoss Bitcoin ETF’s reference price was to be based on the results of the Gemini retail exchange’s daily auction for spot Bitcoin. In the case of Bitwise, the reference price was based on a blend of data from several prominent retail exchanges. Read More...