Last updated: 20:43 / Wednesday, 12 December 2018
Two bills

SEC is Still Undecided About Bitcoin ETFs While Bipartisan Bills Look to Strenghten US' Position

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SEC is Still Undecided About Bitcoin ETFs While Bipartisan Bills Look to Strenghten US' Position

Two US congressmen have introduced pieces of legislation designed to prevent the manipulation of cryptocurrency prices as well as ensuring the US becomes a leader in the crypto sphere.

Democratic Representative Darren Soto of Florida and Republican Representative Ted Budd of North Carolina have introduced The Virtual Currency Consumer Protection Act of 2018 and the U.S. Virtual Currency Market and Regulatory Competitiveness Act of 2018. The bills are designed to protect retail investors from price manipulation while also positioning the US at the forefront of the developing industry.

In a joint statement eleased on December 6, the two congressmen emphasized the “profound potential” of cryptocurrencies and blockchain in their ability to drive economic growth.

“Virtual currencies and the underlying blockchain technology has a profound potential to be a driver of economic growth. That’s why we must ensure that the United States is at the forefront of protecting consumers and the financial well-being of virtual currency investors, , while also promoting an environment of innovation to maximize the potential of these technological advances" the congressmen stated.

 One bill directs the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to describe how price manipulation could happen in virtual markets, then recommend regulatory changes. Another seeks to keep the U.S. competitive in the global industry. They ask the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to come up with recommendations.

On the same day, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) posted an update regarding the approval process for a rule change proposal for the allowance of a bitcoin exchange traded fund (ETF).

The ETF in question is the VanEck SolidX Bitcoin Trust, created in a team up between money management firm VanEck and blockchain company SolidX. The attempt is VanEck's third at creating a bitcoin ETF. In the update, the SEC said it was delaying its decision until Feb. 29, 2018.

"The Commission finds it appropriate to designate a longer period within which to issue an order approving or disapproving the proposed rule change so that it has sufficient time to consider this proposed rule change," Eduardo A. Aleman, assistant secretary in the SEC, said in the release.

The last time the SEC postponed the decision on the VanEck SolidX bitcoin ETF, over $9 billion was wiped off the value of bitcoin.Back in the summer, Jan van Eck, chief executive officer of VanEck said: "I believe that bitcoin has emerged as a legitimate investment option, as a type of 'digital gold' that may make sense for investors' portfolios," since then bitcoin has lost nearly half of its value.

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