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As Bitcoin ETF Hype Picks Up Steam, First-Ever Filing Turns 10

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Sun, 2/07/2023 - 10:18
As Bitcoin ETF Hype Picks Up Steam, First-Ever Filing Turns 10
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In the throes of rising excitement about Bitcoin ETFs, a significant milestone passed unnoticed by many.

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July 1 marked the 10-year anniversary of the first-ever Bitcoin ETF filing, the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust.

The trust, proposed by the Winklevoss twins, notable early Bitcoin investors and co-founders of the Gemini cryptocurrency exchange, was ultimately rejected by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The regulatory body cited concerns about potential manipulation and lack of regulation in the Bitcoin market.

The proposal, which sought to list and trade shares on the BATS BZX Exchange, was a pioneering effort to bring Bitcoin into the mainstream financial system and provide traditional investors an opportunity to gain exposure to Bitcoin without the need to directly buy, store and secure the digital asset.

However, the SEC rejection set a precedent for future Bitcoin ETF proposals. As of now, despite the numerous applications over the years, there is no approved spot Bitcoin ETF in the United States.

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This backdrop brings into sharp focus the current hype around Bitcoin ETFs. The recent surge in proposals from prominent investment firms such as BlackRock and Fidelity has drawn considerable attention from the market.

Yet, a recent report by the Wall Street Journal points out that the SEC has expressed concern about the clarity and comprehensiveness of recent filings, causing a slight dip in Bitcoin's value.

Despite this, experts have argued that the SEC's request for more information does not spell doom for Bitcoin ETFs. The SEC's concerns are largely procedural, and these hurdles are generally expected in the approval process.

Still, even as many industry insiders remain optimistic, the future of Bitcoin ETFs in the U.S. hangs in the balance. The path to approval for a spot Bitcoin ETF remains uncertain, still haunted by the ghost of the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust proposal a decade ago.

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