With Bitcoin maintaining its rally above $4,000 to end the first week of 2019, there is brewing optimism for both investors and industry enthusiasts that a price turn might be around the corner.
While 2018 was an abysmal year for Bitcoin and altcoins, with token prices across the board falling more than ninety percent, investors were able to establish a strong desire in pushing for a Bitcoin Exchange-Traded Fund. Spearheaded by the Winklevoss twins and other financial institutions such as New York based VanEck, the proposal for a regulated BTC ETF was put in front of the United States Securities & Exchange multiple times, failing to gain approval in most cases and being continually delayed in others.
In the past week the focus has shifted beyond the borders of the U.S., looking to countries around the globe for the creation of the world’s first Bitcoin-based ETF. According to a rumor development out of Bloomberg, as previously reported on EWN, Japan may become the inaugural country to allow creation of cryptocurrency Exchange-Traded Funds. According to the report and anonymous sources familiar with the subject, Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) has abandoned plans to allow crypto-related derivatives like physically-backed futures from trading in the country, and is instead looking towards the creation of crypto ETFs as a source of financial innovation.
However, according to the most recent update by CoinTelegraph, the Japanese FSA is denying having interest in the creation of Bitcoin or altcoin ETFs, contradicting the earlier reports and information provided by anonymous sources. In response to questioning by CoinTelegraph, the regulatory agency gave a brief and diplomatic statement on the issue,
“At this moment, we are not exploring an approval of ETFs based on crypto assets.”
The agency also denied being aware of which individual or group of individuals could have been responsible for the anonymous rumors leaked to Bloomberg.
While the FSA statement technically denies exploring a Bitcoin Exchange-Traded Fund, it doesn’t go so far as to close the door on the issue all together. Instead, earlier reports of the regulatory body looking into approving a fund could hold true in the coming months, with the agency needing more time to evaluate the situation.
Since the middle of 2018, crypto investors have looked the creation of exchange-traded funds as a way to prompt more growth in the falling crypto markets. While few banks have yet to comment on how they would respond to such a development, the common thought is large-capital investment firms are waiting on greater regulation before putting money into cryptocurrency.
The Winklevoss twins, both long-time Bitcoin supporters and co-founders of crypto exchange Gemini, have been particularly active this week in raising awareness for ETF approval. On Monday, the twins participated in an AMA on Reddit, covering a variety of topics related to Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. However, the dominant through-line for their discussion was greater regulatory presence and the push for ETF approval, giving a clear indication for where their interest lies.
In addition, the twins announced a new marketing campaign by Gemini centered around the need for reciprocal regulation in the crypto markets.