Tag Archives: Winklevoss

U.S. regulator stands by decision to block Winklevoss bitcoin ETF
July 27, 2018 12:00 am|Comments (0)

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday stood by a decision blocking an exchange-traded fund that would have tracked bitcoin, citing concerns about market manipulation.

Brothers Cameron (L) and Tyler Winklevoss talk to each other as they attend a New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) virtual currency hearing in the Manhattan borough of New York January 28, 2014. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

The securities regulator found “unpersuasive” arguments that the bitcoin ETF proposed by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, the twin brothers who founded crypto exchange Gemini Trust Co LLC, would be sufficiently protected from manipulation, it said in a 92-page analysis bit.ly/2K3GoWG posted on its website.

“Regulated bitcoin-related markets are in the early stages of their development,” the SEC said, saying that it “cannot…conclude that bitcoin markets are uniquely resistant to manipulation.”

But the agency did not completely shut the door to such products coming to market once the bitcoin market has matured, offering some hope for at least five other bitcoin ETF proposals that are still pending before the regulator.

Bitcoin BTC=BTSP turned negative after the SEC’s ruling, and last traded down 2.9 percent.

The virtual currency can be used to move money around the world quickly and with relative anonymity, without the need for a central authority, such as a bank or government. A fund holding the currency could attract more investors and push its price higher.

The SEC said there was not enough evidence that efforts to thwart manipulation of the ETF’s price or that of the underlying bitcoin market would be successful.

The SEC had blocked the Winklevoss ETF from coming to market in March 2017, but then faced an appeal from CBOE Holdings Inc’s (CBOE.O) Bats exchange, which applied to list the ETF.

The parties can appeal the SEC’s decision in federal court.

CBOE and Gemini did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The Winklevoss twins are best known for their feud with Facebook Inc (FB.O) founder Mark Zuckerberg over whether he stole the idea for what became the world’s most popular social networking website from them. The former Olympic rowers ultimately settled their legal dispute, which was dramatized in the 2010 film “The Social Network.”

The SEC’s decision to block the ETF was voted for 3-1 by its sitting commissioners, with Republican commissioner Hester Peirce voting against. In a statement, Peirce said she believed the product met the legal standard.

“More institutional participation would ameliorate many of the Commission’s concerns with the bitcoin market that underlie its disapproval order,” she said, adding that the ruling “sends a strong signal that innovation is unwelcome in our markets.”

Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt in New York and Michelle Price in Washington; additional reporting by Anna Irrera in New York; editing by Phil Berlowitz and Leslie Adler

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Winklevoss bitcoin exchange wins NY approval to expand, offer Zcash
May 14, 2018 6:05 pm|Comments (0)

NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York state on Monday authorized the Gemini Trust Co exchange founded by internet entrepreneurs Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss to offer trading of the privacy-focused cryptocurrency Zcash, making it the world’s first licensed Zcash exchange.

FILE PHOTO: Entrepeneurs Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss arrive at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala (Met Gala) to celebrate the opening of “Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology” in the Manhattan borough of New York, May 2, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

The state’s Department of Financial Services said it also approved Gemini to offer custody services and trading of Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin in the future.

Zcash’s market value was roughly $ 1.3 billion on Monday, according to CoinMarketCap.com, while Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin’s respective values were $ 25 billion and $ 8.3 billion. Bitcoin’s market value was about $ 150.1 billion.

“With smart and thorough regulatory oversight, the development and long-term growth of the industry will remain thriving,” Financial Services Superintendent Maria Vullo said in a statement.

Cryptocurrencies are digital tokens that use encryption techniques to secure transactions. Industry critics say the market is opaque and vulnerable to risks such as money laundering.

Last month, then-New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman asked Gemini and 12 other cryptocurrency trading platforms to provide details about their operations and safety measures.

Zcash incorporates the technology “zk-snark,” short for zero-knowledge succinct non-interactive argument of knowledge, which lets people trade with each other in anonymity.

Gemini said it expects to begin accepting Zcash deposits on Saturday, May 19, with trading to begin three days later.

“We are proud be the first licensed exchange in the world to offer Zcash trading and custody services and look forward to providing customers with a safe, secure, and regulated place to buy, sell, and store Zcash,” Gemini Chief Executive Tyler Winklevoss said in a statement provided by Vullo’s office.

The Winklevosses, who are 36-year-old twins, in 2008 reached a $ 65 million settlement with Facebook Inc and founder Mark Zuckerberg over who had the idea for the social media website.

They also competed in the men’s rowing competition at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Jonathan Oatis

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