US SEC Stops Trading Cryptocurrency Over Confusion
The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said on Sunday it was immediately suspending trading in two investment products that track cryptocurrencies, citing confusion in the markets over whether the products are exchange traded funds (ETFs). It halted till sep 20.
The products promise to track the price of the cryptocurrencies, less fees. They are both listed on a Nasdaq Inc exchange in Stockholm, but trade “over the counter” in transactions that occur off exchanges within the United States.
The issuer of Bitcoin Tracker One and Ether Tracker One, XBT Provider AB and its parent company, did not immediately respond to emailed requests for comment. Nasdaq declined to comment.
The SEC has taken a strict stance against letting ETFs tracking Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies come to market.
But investment firms have been pushing other types of investments that attempt to make it as easy to trade cryptocurrencies as a regular stock.
Those products are sometimes called ETFs, but that term generally refers to a different and often more stringently regulated product. Some industry experts, including the largest ETF provider BlackRock, have called for regulators to standardise the terms used to describe ETFs and other kinds of investment products.
Virtual currency, including Bitcoin and Ether, can be used to move money around the world quickly and with relative anonymity, without the need for a central authority, such as a bank or government. A fund holding the currency could attract more investors and push its price higher.