The US Securities and Exchange Commission has rejected a bid to launch the first-ever bitcoin ETF.
The decision caps a more than three-year quest by bitcoin investors Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, who first sought to list the bitcoin-tied product in mid-2013. The SEC has been weighing a proposed rule change that would pave the way for the ETF to be listed on the Bats BZX Exchange.
In that time, the SEC has solicited numerous public comments and punted its decision forward several times. As well, the ETF’s backers have expanded the scope of the offering from an initial $20m to $100m.
According to a publicly distributed notice detailing the decision, the SEC said:
“As discussed further below, the Commission is disapproving this proposed rule change because it does not find the proposal to be consistent with Section 6(b)(5) of the Exchange Act, which requires, among other things, that the rules of a national securities exchange be designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices and to protect investors and the public interest.”