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Bitcoin ETF Bites the Dust, Needs More Security

When the SEC, last month, announced the proposal from Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust was declined, they made a clear statement to the cryptocurrency community: more security is needed.

In their terms, they did 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."

Of course, that sent investors into a tizzy, serving up a 15% loss and sending Bitcoin down to $1050 from its recent high of nearly $1300. It lived to see a new day, of course, and since, the price of Bitcoin has recovered rather nicely. As of this writing, it sits at $1237. I wanted to give it some time before putting together a reaction on the news simply because Bitcoin, and cryptocurrencies in general, are highly volatile. Pricing isn’t strictly subject to scarcity, and demand tends to lean towards the fickle. An SEC decision sends investors on a rollercoaster ride, and many, seeing the immediate bottom, jumped back on board to nail down a nice short-term profit. In this way, Bitcoin is both volatile and resilient.

Cryptocurrencies will not die based on bad news out of the SEC. It is international in a way which transcends a single agency, even when that agency is the SEC. The threat to cryptocurrency is not external organizations, though such organizations, based on their acceptance, could certainly help it mainstream. The real threat to cryptocurrency is what’s behind the rejection. The real threat is the lack of preparedness for external cybercrime. In order for Bitcoin, or other cryptocurrencies, to gain mainstream traction and transform the way the world transacts, outside of its niche community, the movement will need to find a way to lessen the exposure to external risk.

Winklevoss has been working on this proposal for several years, and along the way, they continue to restructure it. They, and others, will continue to work to gain approval for an ETF, and the best way to help their cause is to address the structural challenges associated with the concept. Until they do so, it is likely we will see more failed attempts. Such attempts shouldn’t be taken as a reason to dump the currency. It should be taken in the context in which it exists: government agencies need more proof, more security, and more upside to mainstream a groundbreaking, innovative disrupter.


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