Bitcoin ETF ruling delayed, cryptocurrency market plunges

Cornelia Mascio
Agosto 10, 2018

The market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies sank to roughly $223 billion, its lowest level so far this year, CoinDesk reported, citing data from CoinMarketCap. Digital assets have now lost about $600 billion since crypto-mania peaked in January, equivalent to erasing the entire market value of Visa Inc. twice over.

In an order published on August 7, officials at the agency wrote that they were giving themselves more time to deliberate on whether to approve what would be the first exchange-traded product of its kind in the U.S. It's also perhaps unsurprising, given that in the past, SEC officials have used the agency's statutory powers to push back decisions on bitcoin ETFs.

"The market overreacted to a slew of applications to the SEC that had no chance of getting a quick acceptance and are now overreacting to the highly expected outcome", said Hany Rashwan, chief executive officer of crypto startup Amun Technologies Ltd.

Bitcoin retreated as much as 7% to $6,393.70 at noon in London, extending its 2018 drop to about 55%, according to Bloomberg composite pricing. All but one of the 100 biggest virtual currencies tracked by Coinmarketcap.com slumped over the past 24 hours. Last month, the SEC denied the Winklevoss twins' latest bid to create such a financial instrument, and the agency has delayed ruling on almost a dozen other bitcoin funds.

The SEC now has until 30 September to "approve or disapprove, or institute proceedings to determine whether to disapprove" a proposed rule change from Cboe Global Markets Inc. that would allow the listing of an ETF from VanEck Associates Corp. and SolidX Partners Inc., the regulator said in a statement. Some had argued that VanEck's proposal was more likely to gain approval thanks in part to plans for a high minimum share price that would discourage retail investors.

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