SEC: Bitcoin-ETF from Winklevoss rejected again

The US Securites and Exchange Commission (SEC) has once again rejected an application by the Winklevoss brothers for approval of a Bitcoin ETF. This confirms the authority’s decision of last year.

But not all SEC members support the Bitcoin news

Already in October 2016, the Bats BZX Exchange applied to the SEC for listing of Bitcoin news: The SEC rejected the request of the investor twins in March of last year. In its justification, the SEC cited above all concerns regarding control and monitoring mechanisms at relevant marketplaces. According to the authorities, another problem was the lack of regulation of the markets.

The Winklevoss brothers then pushed for a revision of the decision and tried to achieve this by petition. The SEC continues to justify the renewed rejection with security and regulatory concerns regarding the BZX Exchange:

„[…] while the BZX states that […] transactions via the Bitcoin blockchain are publicly viewable, the blockchain only identifies parties to a transaction by a pseudonymous public key address. Furthermore, no distinction is made between Bitcoin trading activities and other Bitcoin transfer activities (e.g. for remittances, purchases of goods, or services).“

Therefore, the Crypto Exchange does not meet the SEC’s requirements regarding the containment of fraudulent activity:

„On the contrary, the Commission disapproves of this proposed rule change because BZX has not fulfilled its obligations under the Stock Exchange Act and the Commission’s Rules of Procedure to demonstrate that its application complies with the requirements of the Stock Exchange Act, in particular that its rules must be designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices“.

Resistance within the SEC

The SEC’s decision was not unanimous. Commissioner Hester M. Peirce is of the opinion that the Winklevoss application does indeed fulfil the conditions of the Stock Exchange Act. She criticises that the SEC’s reasoning is less about the proposed Exchange Traded Product (ETP) than about the Bitcoin market in general:

„As the Disapproval Order focuses on the Bitcoin spot market, it does not give adequate weight to the important role of the exchange as a self-regulatory organisation (SRO) within our regulatory framework. BZX should and would play a central role in monitoring the trading of trust shares. In exercising this function, BZX would perform the functions entrusted to it as an SRO and would be subject to the supervision of the Commission. In exercising this responsibility, BZX would have strong regulatory and business incentives to ensure the integrity of the products it lists for trading. There is nothing in the minutes to suggest that BZX is unwilling or unable to perform its duties under the Stock Exchange Act“.

No reason for FUD
From the SEC’s point of view, the rejection is understandable. With regard to the upcoming dates in September for the approval of further ETF applications, it is understandable that the authority is keen to keep expectations regarding Bitcoin ETF low. The fact that the Bitcoin share price is yielding somewhat, currently 3.9 percent, is not the end of the world. After the Bitcoin price increase of the last few days, this small correction is absolutely within the bounds and should therefore not be overestimated.

Better water management thanks to blockchain technology?

Although water scarcity is not a problem in our regions, there are many countries that are struggling with inadequate water management. The Blockchain should help to use water efficiently. Australia and the USA have already developed initial concepts.

Two thirds of the earth is covered by water, but only 1 percent of it is usable for humans. While in our latitudes we have a guilty conscience about not letting the water run when we brush our teeth, others are actually struggling with water scarcity and rationing. Approximately 4.5 billion people do not have access to a safe water supply due to water scarcity – and the trend is rising. Blockchain technology could make water more efficient and ensure distribution. It could be used to store important data on water quality and quantity. This information would help both industrial consumers and private households to manage water consumption. Current data could be used to decide whether to store or use the water. This would not only reduce costs but also make distribution more efficient.

Bitcoin formula on the advance

The Australian city of Fremantle is currently planning a Bitcoin formula project to test the blockchain’s water and power distribution capabilities. Read more about it: The project will combine robust, low carbon and low cost systems with blockchain technology. A large photovoltaic system, a charging station for electric vehicles and systems for water treatment and absorption will also be connected to the Blockchain technology. This scope of the project already suggests it: Research is already underway here with a view to future smart cities.

Melbourne also wants to optimize water trading with the help of blockchain technology. To this end, the city has teamed up with start-up Civic Ledger. As part of the collaboration, they have completed a feasibility study for a blockchain-based application. This is intended to increase the transparency and efficiency of water market trading in Australia.

Clean water in the USA

The water used in oil drilling is mainly stored underground in barrels, which makes it impossible to use it for other purposes. Genesis Research Technology Group, based in the USA, has now developed a system that can purify the water without the use of chemicals. This process has proven to be very successful over the last three years. The company now uses the Ethereum blockchain to test and evaluate the water quality in a tamper-proof manner. To this end, it has entered into a cooperation agreement with MVP Asia Pacific Inc. Its CEO, Darren McVean, explained:

„The Blockchain represents an amazing potential for the environmental and land rehabilitation sector. In the past, governments and community groups had no access to land, water and air quality records. Few have confidence in the reports and this has nipped investment in environmentally friendly technologies in the bud. We believe that by incorporating Blockchain technology into Genesis RTG’s proven water treatment process, we can realize huge environmental benefits on a large scale and drive the Blockchain industry forward.“

Of course, the blockchain cannot conjure up water where there is none. However, it can obviously help people to distribute the available water efficiently and to document its quality reliably.