Last year saw the global news headlines filled with stories about an impending Bitcoin ETF (exchange-traded fund) which would allow institutional investors to flood money into the cryptocurrency market. However, as application after application was rejected or delayed, hope dwindled and talk of an ETF went quiet.
Now, Chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Jay Clayton has revived the discussion in comments made to CNBC’s Bob Pisani. Speaking in a recent interview, Clayton said a Bitcoin ETF is possible but that there is still “work left to be done.” The work he is referring to is that of exchange operators in providing evidence that manipulation is not taking place on their platforms. Due to the largely unregulated nature of the cryptocurrency market, the SEC fears that price manipulation is taking place, which could damage the larger global economy if an ETF is introduced.
The Bitcoin price was not noticeably affected by the news and remains in a sideways trading pattern in the £10,300 – $10,600 range. It is down 0.22% today while several altcoins like Litecoin (LTC) and EOS are enjoying 4.5% gains. Following weeks of impressive gains earlier this year, many in the crypto community now believe that this minor rally is over, having peaked at just below $14,000. A recent poll from Twitter user and crypto trader @CanteringClark asked his followers if they believe Bitcoin is no longer in a bull market. 62% of the 986 respondents replied ‘Yes’.

BitMEX Troubles Deepen

Major crypto exchange BitMEX has had a troublesome year after falling under scrutiny from U.S. authorities. The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is currently investigating whether Seychelles-based BitMEX broke any laws by allowing U.S. citizens to trade on the platform. The platform has been previously criticized for allowing traders to use 100x leverage to trade crypto derivatives, an activity that can result in massive losses for inexperienced traders.
Now, BitMEX’s Chief Operating Office Angelina Kwan has handed in her notice just weeks before reaching her one year anniversary at the firm. Kwan joined BitMEX in October last year after leaving her position as managing director and head of regulatory compliance for the Hong Kong Exchange and Clearing House. A spokesperson confirmed that Kwan is on gardening leave and will leave the company but it is uncertain at this time if her departure is a result of the CFTC investigation.