After falling sharply earlier in the week, the bitcoin price briefly shot to a record high above $1,300 as investors hoped the Securities and Exchange Commission would soon approve a proposed rule change that would clear the way for the creation of the first bitcoin-focused exchange-traded fund.
Though it soon moved off its highs of the session, the price remained about 6% higher intraday US:BTCUSD at $1,259.38, according to the CoinDesk bitcoin price index.
Friday is the deadline for the SEC to approve or deny the rule change that was proposed by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss. The decision will mark the culmination of a yearslong process: brothers first asked the SEC to approve their ETF, known as the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust, back in 2013.
Though many expect an explicit ruling, the SEC could clear the way for the Winklevoss ETF — which would trade on the BATS exchange under the ticker “COIN” — by essentially doing nothing: According to the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, a proposed rule change “shall be deemed to have been approved by the Commission if the Commission does not approve or disapprove the proposed rule change… within the period described.”
A denial by the SEC wouldn’t necessarily prevent the formation of a bitcoin ETF: Two other firms, Grayscale Investments, the creator of the Grayscale Bitcoin Investment Trust GBTC, +4.79% , and SolidX are also vying for approval from the SEC.