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Winklevoss Loss at the SEC

July 30, 2018

Winklevoss Loss at the SEC

The US Securities and Exchange Commission issued its disapproval of  proposed rule changes that would have allowed the listing and trading of the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust on the Bats BZX Exchange. The “Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust,” as its name might suggest, is the creation of Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, notorious figures in the prehistory of Facebook, and ubiquitous figures in the world of Bitcoin.   

Technically the SEC decision on Thursday reaffirmed an earlier Disapproval Order, in March of this year. Bats BZX had petitioned for review of that disapproval order, and the SEC gave it a full-dress second look, a de novo review, giving “careful consideration to the entire record, including … all comments and statements submitted by BZX and other parties,” only to decide that the agency had gotten things right the first time.

The decision was not a unanimous one. Commissioner Hester Peirce dissented. The significance of the defeat of this proposal in the bigger picture of cryptocurrency history may be the extent to which her dissent throws light upon her thinking on the broad subject: she is the newest Commissioner, having just been confirmed in December 2017.

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