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CME Group Bitcoin Futures Hit $1.3 Billion Amid Parabolic Advance

Bitcoin’s intense price gains have sparked frenzied activity for CME’s product, which set a previous high last month.

CME Group reported record volume for its bitcoin (BTC) futures on May 13 as the cryptocurrency’s surprise bull market continued.

CME, which together with the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) became the first provider of bitcoin futures to the market in December 2017, saw an all-time record of 33,700 contracts on Monday.

That figure represented an equivalent 168,000 BTC ($1.35 billion) — an almost 50% rise versus the previous high of 22,500 contracts and 112,700 BTC (currently $909.2 million) on April 4.

At the time, CME had warned over a 17% net income drop for Q1 2019 despite the brisk bitcoin activity.

Bitcoin’s most recent seven-week bull run began to gather speed on April 1: on Tuesday, the largest cryptocurrency set a yearly high of $8,335.

Bitcoin’s own trading volumes similarly set separate daily records, with two days of back-to-back historic highs occurring this week.

CME, meanwhile, has called for increased regulatory participation in cryptocurrency, arguing that involvement of authorities is essential if the phenomenon is to be a success.

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ErisX’s Spot Market: More Institutional Participation and Regulatory Oversight Coming to Crypto?

ErisX’s spot market could increase institutional participation — as well as regulatory oversight.

United States-based cryptocurrency exchange ErisX recently announced the public launch of its spot market trading, a move that takes the company a step closer to its goal of being a one-stop shop for the trading of spot and futures contracts in a regulated environment.

Per the information on its product page, ErisX will support dollar trading pair with bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ether and litecoin — in addition to bitcoin trading pairs with the other three cryptocurrencies.

What’s ErisX’s plan in the crypto space?

Since 2017, ErisX has been building a trusted market infrastructure to support the institutional adoption of cryptocurrency.

The Chicago-based company wants to make it possible for players in the capital market to have access to digital assets in the same way — and perhaps at the same venue — that they access traditional financial products like securities. Just before the end of April, there were reports that TD Ameritrade, which has some 11 million retail clients, has been testing ErisX’s crypto exchange and could soon offer crypto trading on its platform, where clients already trade traditional financial products.

Beyond crypto spot market, which is what most existing crypto exchanges offer and is also what ErisX’s spot trading is about, ErisX plans to launch a derivatives exchange once the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) approves its application to operate both a derivatives exchange and a clearing house.

As a quick refresher, a spot market is a trading venue — digital or otherwise — where financial instruments such as securities, commodities and currencies are traded for on-the-spot delivery. Delivery means the exchange of cash for the financial instrument in question. Therefore, a crypto spot market would be any venue, such as exchanges, where you can instantly trade cryptocurrencies.

How will the ErisX platform work?

Trading on the ErisX spot market will work pretty much like existing exchanges like Coinbase. Users will need to go through Know Your Customer (KYC), Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) compliance checks before they’re able to use ErisX’s platform. Traditional brokerage firms already do this when onboarding users that trade through brokerage platforms and may not have to repeat the process.

Like other U.S.-based crypto exchanges, ErisX has licenses that make it possible for it to support the trading of a USD/crypto pair.

Why is ErisX attracting institutional investors?

Following the closing of the third round of Series B funding, which the company announced alongside the launch of its spot market exchange, ErisX has now raised a total of $47.5 million from 22 investors, according to business information platform Crunchbase.

These investors — which include TD Ameritrade, DRW Holdings, CBOE, TradeStation and Nasdaq, just to name a few — are interested in ErisX for a few reasons, all of which sum up to the fact that they see promise in how the crypto exchange is building a robust, transparent, integrated and regulatory-compliant market infrastructure in the crypto space.

TradeStation, an American online securities and futures brokerage company, invested in ErisX because it believes ErisX is bridging the gap between the traditional and crypto market. John Bartleman, president of TradeStation Group, in a press release, said:

“TradeStation is actively working to help bridge the gap between traditional markets and crypto markets. Our investment in ErisX supports further advances in the crypto market structure and will help bring more established players into the space. Supporting firms like ErisX, that understand regulation and markets, benefits the crypto ecosystem.”

TD Ameritrade, on the other hand, has seen increasing demand for the trading of crypto products from its retail customers. So, the American brokerage firm invested in ErisX because it sees the crypto exchange operator as a viable avenue to offer its customers access to the crypto market in a transparent way. Tim Hockey, CEO of TD Ameritrade said:

“As investors in ErisX, as well as a strategic contributor in the initiative, we are looking forward to advancing our innovation goals by working with an established, CFTC-regulated exchange that will include digital asset futures and spot contracts on a single platform.”

Steve Quirk, executive vice president of Trading & Education at TD Ameritrade, added that:

“Our retail clients are seeking to access and trade digital currency products in the same way they do with traditional capital markets — through a legitimate, regulated and transparent exchange. That’s precisely why we chose to invest in ErisX — to make digital currency products more accessible to retail clients.”

While U.S.-regulated exchanges including Coinbase and Gemini already offer institutional trading products in some ways, their services don’t cover the extensive needs of institutional investors. Institutional investors typically use leverage tactics to hedge or optimize their portfolio returns through derivatives. Some popular derivatives include futures, options, swaps, warrants, and contracts for difference.

U.S.-based derivatives market operators CBOE Global Markets and CME Group were the first to offer cash-settled crypto futures. While CBOE discontinued its bitcoin futures offering in March, industry market intelligence provider Diar pointed at volume data to suggest that CBOE was struggling to compete adequately with CME. CME continues to offer bitcoin futures, with volumes reportedly growing on a monthly basis.

However, investors and traders want a futures market for physical bitcoin settlement.

In this context, physical bitcoin is the same thing as the bitcoin in your wallet. “Physical” is only a relative term to indicate that actual bitcoin is being traded for cash, as opposed to trades where only cash is changing hands based on the price of bitcoin.

During a meeting with the CFTC on Feb. 14, 2018, Richard Gorelick, the head of market structure at the trading firm DRW, said:

“We continue to have concerns that the way these futures contracts are pegged to these cash markets, which are less transparent, could result in dislocations in the future. We’ve expressed our view that we would like to see physically settled cryptoasset contracts to help deal with some of these concerns.”

Cointelegraph had reported in June 2018 about possible manipulation of bitcoin prices for gains in the bitcoin futures market. In addition to the risk of manipulation, contracts are inefficient for professional traders who also actively trade cryptocurrency.

Garrett See of crypto trading firm DV Chain told the Business Insider:

“If they are physical delivery futures, then I know exactly what my P&L [profit and loss] will be if I hold it to expiration. If they’re cash settled, I have to make another trade to unwind the spot position at expiration and I have to hope that I can unwind my position at the expiration price (including fees) even though I may not have the ability to trade on the exchanges that are being used to determine settlement price.”

The futures products for physical settlement being developed by ErisX — as well as by its competitor, Bakkt — will meet the needs of institutional investors.

Bakkt is a crypto exchange platform being developed by Intercontinental Exchange, the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange. Similar to ErisX, Bakkt is developing both crypto spot and futures market. Beyond creating a market infrastructure that attracts institutional players, Bakkt wants to build and develop crypto use cases, according to Bakkt’s chief operating officer Adam White.

Following Bakkt’s announcement of a futures market for physical bitcoin settlement last year, See told Business Insider:

“If bitcoin is trading at a discount in the spot market relative to the futures market, a trader can go long bitcoin and short the future for a profit. This is hard when a future settles in cash because it requires a trader to make another trade.”

A more transparent crypto spot market

The CFTC last year reportedly requested trading data from top exchanges, following reports that the spot market might have been manipulated for gains in the futures market.

The introduction of even more advanced futures products, like the ones ErisX and Bakkt are working on, could result in more regulatory oversight of the spot exchange operators. The increased attention could, in turn, drive the exchanges toward maintaining the best and most transparent exchange practices.

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CME Group’s Net Income Falls 17% in Q1 Amid Record BTC Futures Trading Volume in April

CME Group has reported a net income of $497 million for the first quarter, compared with $599 million this time last year.

United States derivative market CME Group has reported a 17% fall in net income for the first quarter, according to a news release on May 1.

Despite revenues rising over the three-month period, earnings stood at $497 million, compared with $599 million this time a year ago.

CME Group chairman and chief executive Terry Duffy said the results amounted to the third-highest quarterly volume in its history “despite low levels of volatility in several product areas.”

The group’s revenue had hit record highs in Q1 2018, with volatility in the markets helping to drive trading in its futures markets.

In April, CME Group reported that it had achieved record levels of trading volume on bitcoin (BTC) futures — achieving an all-time high of 22,542 contracts. This was equivalent to 112,700 BTC, which is worth $653 million at press time.

CME Group launched its bitcoin futures service in December 2017.

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CME CEO: Use Cases Will Drive Bitcoin (BTC) Growth, Not Speculation

What Will Drive Crypto Growth?

Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous creator of the Bitcoin protocol, always expressed an inkling of mistrust and cynicism towards centralized institutions, including Wall Street and the incumbent government. And for many years, much of the broader crypto community echoed these thoughts. Over the years, however, the underlying value proposition of Bitcoin and other crypto assets have been misconstrued, especially as ‘get rich quick’ schemes have become a sector mainstay.

And this newfound penchant for speculation, which lies dormant in human nature, is what the chief executive of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) sees as a main detractor for BTC’s growth. In an exclusive interview with Business Insider in Florida, Terry Duffy explained that the crypto community is too focused on prices. Instead, he says, stakeholders should target their efforts at building valuable use cases, as Duffy sees this as a driver for eventual growth. He explained:

Once you get the use of it, the price will take care of itself… But the argument has gone only to the price of say bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency. No one is talking about, ‘How do I use this asset?’

Duffy adds that from his perspective, the most viable cryptocurrencies are stablecoins, as he sees them as the perfect dichotomy between digital money and traditional assets.

Regulators Scared Of Bitcoin Supply Cap

While Duffy seems sure that digital assets have some usability in the real-world, hence why his firm has become the leading regulated Bitcoin futures exchange, he claims that regulators are wary.

In a seeming response to an inquiry about whether organizations like the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) are curbing exchange-traded crypto products, like VanEck’s Bitcoin ETF, Duffy explained that organizations like those are wary of crypto’s supply caps. He explains that their limited supply, like Bitcoin’s 21 million cap, is something that governments struggle with, as they constantly run on deficits.

Duffy notes that he doesn’t see a world in which an entity like the U.S. governments drops fiat for crypto, and says “‘Sounds good to me, because I want to be responsible and run everything on even-for-even basis.’” And with that, he concluded that cryptocurrencies need a greenlight from regulatory agencies.

This lines up with a narrative he established earlier this year in a Bloomberg TV interview. In that discussion, Duffy explained that for cryptocurrencies to succeed, industry participants will need to brown-nose (gain approval) governments. In fact, he remarked that this is the “bottom line,” or else it will be “very difficult for the major commercials to come into this space” in a gung-ho fashion.

Photo by Chris Liverani on Unsplash

The post CME CEO: Use Cases Will Drive Bitcoin (BTC) Growth, Not Speculation appeared first on Ethereum World News.

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CME Group CEO Terry Duffy: No Bitcoin Deficit a Problem for Regulators

Terry Duffy, CEO of CME Group, says that Bitcoin’s finite amount is a challenge for regulators

Terry Duffy, CEO of leading United States derivative market CME Group, told Business Insider Monday, March 25, that Bitcoin’s finite amount is a challenge for regulators.

According to Duffy, the inability to run Bitcoin (BTC) on a deficit is challenging for regulation. He further explained:

“The governments can’t run unless they can run on a deficit. I am trying to figure out why they would say, ‘Sounds good to me, because I want to be responsible and run everything on even-for-even basis. I can’t borrow against anything.'”

Therefore, a major selling point of most cryptocurrencies, a limited supply, is an obstacle to their further adoption by state entities, according to Duffy. He further added that regulators are still wary about cryptocurrencies, as they are still a relatively new financial instrument:

“I do believe that the regulators right now are a little careful about just rubber stamping anything as it relates to crypto. You are going to have to have an offering that the regulators are going to have to get comfortable. And I think it is hard to get comfortable with something that is so new like this.”

Moreover, Duffy thinks that stablecoins pegged to the U.S. dollar or euro will gain more traction, as they have some of the characteristics of traditional money.

Duffy thus reiterated his stance from a February interview with Bloomberg, when he said that major commercial banks are not likely to get involved in the market unless the governments worldwide start accepting cryptocurrencies.

Many crypto entrepreneurs and financial experts opt for stablecoins as the best use case of cryptocurrencies. For instance, the Winklevoss twins, who earlier launched their own dollar-backed stablecoin, the Gemini dollar (GUSD), believe that stablecoins and tokenized securities are the future of crypto innovation.

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What to Expect If Ether Futures Become a Reality?

The possible launch of Ether futures could have both positive and negative ramifications for the cryptocurrency.

Less than a year after the launch of the first ever futures contracts for Bitcoin, Ethereum could be the second cryptocurrency to be traded on regulated futures exchanges.

It’s understood that the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), the same platform that launched Bitcoin futures in December 2017, is waiting for the green light from the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to launch Ethereum options by the end of 2018.

The CBOE will base its ETH contracts on the Gemini cryptocurrency exchange market — the base it already uses for its Bitcoin futures.

With the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) formally declaring that Ethereum was not classed as a security in June, the path ahead was seemingly paved for the prospective launch of ETH futures.

At the time, CBOE president Chris Concannon hailed the decision, saying ETH contracts had been a talking point since late 2017:

“We are pleased with the SEC’s decision to provide clarity with respect to current Ether transactions. This announcement clears a key stumbling block for Ether futures, the case for which we’ve been considering since we launched the first Bitcoin futures in December 2017.”

Just three months later, there are very real grumblings that this could come to fruition, much like the build up to the eventual launch of Bitcoin futures in 2017.

The CBOE has indicated to Cointelegraph that it is indeed looking at Ethereum futures, highlighting Concannon’s interview with Quarts in June, where he laid out their thoughts on the cryptocurrency and the possibility of a futures contract:

“Ether is one of the more highly liquid cryptocurrencies out there. Along with Bitcoin, the demand is much higher in Ether than any other cryptocurrency on the market. We’ll look at launching futures in the near term, but there’s a process we have to go through before even announcing such a launch. That process is something we’ve talked to the CFTC about at length and certainly want to take steps along that process and make sure everybody is comfortable with the next product we announce.”

According to Concannon, there is significant demand and appetite for Ether futures. Having successfully launched Bitcoin futures, the CBOE hopes to use that same product design and structure and apply it to any cryptocurrency futures that may be looked at in the future.

The CBOE wouldn’t divulge any more details at this point in time, saying the relevant information would be communicated in due time.

What could happen

While the finite details of when we can expect to see these Ether futures launched is yet to be revealed, the possibility of these new offerings had a neutral effect on different cryptocurrency values.

The price of ETH turned around from a slight slump on August 31, which could be attributed to these initial reports. The price of Bitcoin showed a similar movement pattern, with a strong uptick on the same day.

Crypto market 31.08.–01.09.2018. Source:

In response to the first reports of the CBOE’s plans, Fundstrat’s co-founder Tom Lee told Business Insider that Ether futures would have an initial negative impact on the price of the cryptocurrency:

“Since December of this year, if one was bearish on any aspect of crypto but did not want to own the underlying, they could short BTC. They can now short Ethereum, [which] means the net short on BTC in futures would fall.”

Good or bad?

It is not easy to predict what any market will do, and this is especially true for cryptocurrencies. However, big moves like this by mainstream financial institutions seem to influence the price of cryptocurrencies.

Cointelegraph spoke to eToro senior market analyst Mati Greenspan to get an educated view on how the launch of Ether futures could potentially affect the price of the cryptocurrency.

Greenspan was upbeat about the possibility, saying that Wall Street is working hard to build bridges to the crypto market, calling the launch of Ether futures a critical next step.

While some people on social media cited concerns that aggressive shorting would hurt the value of Ether, Greenspan offered a counterargument to that point:

“The ability to go short is a critical component of price discovery. So this is ultimately a healthy thing for the market.”

Furthermore, Greenspan believes that an Ether futures contract will put the cryptocurrency in the spotlight, which could very well attract new investors with deep pockets. The eToro analyst also believes that it could have a knock-on effect for other cryptocurrencies:

“Crypto prices are correlated strongly with each other. So anything that’s good for Ethereum should be good for Bitcoin and vice versa. So far, the futures volumes on Bitcoin have been relatively small and insignificant to the rest of the market, but as interest from institutional investors changes, we should be seeing higher volumes and new ways to trade them.”

While Greenspan offers a far more optimistic prediction of things to come, there are those that have a more cautious view of the potential launch of Ether futures.

Phillip Nunn, CEO of Wealth Chain Capital, told Cointelegraph that there is potential for certain investors to short Ether, which could have some serious consequences for companies that have launched ICOs on the Ethereum blockchain.

Nunn likens the launch of BTC futures to the FX markets some 30 years ago, where futures markets had a big sway on markets:

“2018 has seen a massive shift in the behaviour of crypto mainly due to the advent of Bitcoin futures, the charts have been different and clearly there has been market manipulation and “whales” dominating the market either way. Someone is making a lot of money. It’s similar the the FX markets in the 80’s and 90’s where it was easy to influence markets via longs and shorts.”

Furthermore, Nunn sites the risk futures pose to companies that have raised money using ERC20 tokens:

“I worry for ETH on a couple of levels. Firstly it’s market cap is a lot smaller than Bitcoin and I think ETH futures could see it dipping under $150 maybe even $100. Add to that that 95% of ICO’s raise money with ERC20 tokens in ETH, if an ICO has raised say $20m dollars and holds in ETH, suddenly that halves and I think it will trigger sell offs by these companies to BTC or FIAT to protect their interests.”

A different outcome?

While the crypto futures trail has been blazed by Bitcoin, it may well be difficult to draw any early conclusions from the launch of BTC futures in December 2017.

Shortly after the CBOE and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) launched their respective futures offerings, Bitcoin reached its all-time high of just over $20,000, before a humbling correction left markets in the red and reeling for months.

While various factors played a role in the significant pull-back in the cryptocurrency markets, it made life difficult when it came to judging how BTC futures affected the markets and influenced prices.

In July, CME indicated that it would not launch any other cryptocurrency futures offerings. However, it did release data that showed BTC futures average daily volume had increased by 93 percent over the first quarter of 2018.

Considering the growth in the number of BTC futures contracts midway through 2018, it could be fair to assume that there is a growing appetite for these type of financial offerings in the cryptocurrency space.

Nevertheless, the possible launch of Ether futures will be a space that will be keenly monitored in the months to come. As Nunn summed up in his comments to Cointelegraph, price prediction in the crypto space have been as good as a shot in the dark:

“Of course I could be wrong and it could fly to $1000 but it seems the futures strategies serve to stifle the true growth of crypto, This has certainly been the case with Bitcoin as all price predictions are out of the window.”

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Tom Lee: CBOE Ethereum Futures May Hurt ETH, But Benefit Bitcoin (BTC)

BTC Could Rise As A Result of Ethereum Futures

Even in a market downturn, development in this nascent industry rages, with firms continually releasing innovative products and services that could change the future of crypto. And as reported by Ethereum World News previously, the CBOE, the foremost US-based options exchange, is just months away from launching Ether futures that will be based on Gemini markets.

This news immediately sparked speculation about the effect this vehicle would have on the market, with many optimists noting that this futures contract should help to propel the price, development, and maturation of Ethereum, and subsequently, the growth of this industry.

While many agreed with this hope, Tom Lee, the head of research at Fundstrat Global Advisors, expects this news to benefit the price of Bitcoin (BTC) more than the price of Ethereum (ETH).

Speaking with Business Insider reporters, Lee, who has become well-known, if not near-infamous for his seemingly undying bullish sentiment on Bitcoin, noted that Ether futures will allow speculators to weigh down on the price of ETH.

His claims seem to be corroborated by the historical price action of Bitcoin following the initial CBOE and CME futures release. Since Bitcoin futures debuted in mid-December of last year, prices tanked, with Bitcoin briefly touching $20,000 before tumbling to $7,200 as it stands today. Some think thatEthereum Blockchain Token this is no unfortunate coincidence, but rather, the effect of short sellers placing bets against Bitcoin via the futures market.

As such, the Fundstrat Bitcoin bull then noted that the same effect, albeit likely not as drastic, could occur this time around as well, with the planned December 2018 introduction of the CBOE-backed Ether futures contract potentially lining up with a substantial decline in the price of ETH.

On the other hand, however, Lee added that the introduction of Ether futures may alleviate some of the pain placed on Bitcoin by bears, as the short interest may translate from the BTC contract to the ETH contract. The Fundstrat executive elaborated, stating:

“Since December of this year, if one was bearish on any aspect of crypto but did not want to own the underlying, they could short BTC. They can now short eth, means the net short on BTC in futures would fall.”

Some skeptics of this theory pointed out that it is somewhat counterintuitive, but upon thinking about it further, it is clear that Tom Lee’s thought does hold some credence at the very least.

Ethereum has already had a bad year, so many are hoping that the eventual introduction of these futures will not hamper the price of the asset further. But for now, only time will tell what the short to mid-term fate of the second largest crypto asset will be.

At the time of writing, Ethereum is down 1.4% in the past 24 hours, as it currently sits at $294 after falling from yesterday’s highs at $303.

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SEC Rejects 9 Bitcoin ETF Applications from ProShares, Direxion and GraniteShares

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has rejected a total of nine applications to list and trade various Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded funds (ETFs) from three different applicants, according to a three separate orders published by the SEC today, August 22.

The disapprovals come one day ahead of the anticipated deadline, August 23, stipulated for a pair of BTC ETFs that had been submitted by ProShares in conjunction with the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) ETF exchange NYSE Arca.

The SEC has now rejected a further seven proposed ETFs alongside the ProShares pair –– these being five further proposed ETFs from Direxion, also for listing on NYSE Arca –– and two proposals from GraniteShares, for listing on CBOE.

For all three disapprovals, the SEC has stated that:

“[T]he Commission is disapproving this proposed rule change because, as discussed below, the Exchange has not met its burden under the Exchange Act and the Commission’s Rules of Practice to demonstrate that its proposal is consistent with the requirements of the Exchange Act Section 6(b)(5), in particular the requirement that a national securities exchange’s rules be designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices.”

All three applications had proposed futures-based Bitcoin ETFs. The SEC has today reinforced its qualms over inadequate “resistance to price manipulation” in an insufficiently sized BTC derivatives market. In the case of ProShares’ two ETFs –– and repeated in the two other disapproval orders –– the SEC has stated that:

“Among other things, the Exchange has offered no record evidence to demonstrate that bitcoin futures markets are ‘markets of significant size.’ That failure is critical because, as explained below, the Exchange has failed to establish that other means to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices will be sufficient, and therefore surveillance-sharing with a regulated market of significant size related to bitcoin is necessary.”

As a March 2018 registration statement from the SEC noted, “the [ProShares] Funds do not intend to hold Bitcoin Futures Contracts through expiration, but instead intend to either close or ‘roll’ their respective positions.” This had been specifically designated as a potential risk for the two ETFs in question –– in addition to the “extreme volatility and low liquidity” attributed to both Bitcoin spot and derivatives markets.

In today’s three orders, the SEC has however notably stated that:

“[The agency] emphasizes that its disapproval does not rest on an evaluation of whether bitcoin, or blockchain technology more generally, has utility or value as an innovation or an investment.”

The SEC’s fresh disapprovals echo the concerns the agency had already articulated in its initial rejection of a high-profile Bitcoin ETF application from the Winklevoss twins in March 2017:

”When the spot market is unregulated –– there must be significant, regulated derivatives markets related to the underlying asset with which the Exchange can enter into a surveillance-sharing agreement.”

This July the SEC rejected the Winklevoss’ petition following their initial application’s denial, in which the twins claim that crypto markets are “uniquely resistant to manipulation.” In their rejection of the petition, the agency said that “the record before the Commission does not support such a conclusion.”

At the beginning of August, the SEC delayed its decision over yet another Bitcoin ETF application –– this time filed by by investment firm VanEck and financial services company SolidX, for trading on CBOE. Notably, instead of proposing a Bitcoin futures-based fund, the application proposed a physically-backed model, which will raise the further question of custody.

Bitcoin is currently trading around $6,380, down about 2.2 percent on the day to press time.