Winklevoss Twins Plan NASDAQ Listing for Bitcoin ETF in New SEC Filing

NEWS
Daniel Cawrey
May 9, 2014 at 00:45 UTC  |  Updated  May 9, 2014 at 15:30 UTC

A new regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) indicates that Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss are planning to have their Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust exchange traded fund (ETF) listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange.

If the SEC gives its final approval, investors will be able to buy into the fund and participate by owning "shares" of bitcoins.

The filing is an amendment to a series of documents that the ETF has submitted to the SEC in order to get the fund off the ground. It was initially registered with the SEC last July.

Math-Based Asset Services

The Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust would be the first publicly-listed bitcoin ETF. The trust is owned by Math-Based Asset Services, LLC, an entity set up by the Winklevoss twins.

According to the SEC filing, the ETF is expected to IPO for 1m total shares. Each share is worth one-fifth of a bitcoin, which would mean that the trust controls 200,000 BTC and at recent prices would be worth roughly $87 per share.

Previous year bitcoin prices. Source: CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index
Previous year bitcoin prices. Source: CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index

Selling "shares" of bitcoin on the open NASDAQ market would provide investors improved access to bitcoin-based assets.

New York City-based SecondMarket operates a bitcoin investment trust. However, that fund is currently restricted to accredited investors.

The Winklevoss brothers, who had an early hand in the conception of Facebook, have been bullish advocates of bitcoin for some time. They indicated last year they expect BTC to hit $40,000 per coin in the future.

Big backers

The Winklevosses revealed their bitcoin investment last year, reportedly owning 1% of all bitcoins in circulation. Based on the digital currency's  total market cap, that would mean the twins jointly own over $50m in BTC.

The brothers have been publicly stumping for the positive virtues of the virtual currency industry. They have appeared on CNBC and testified earlier this year in front of the New York Department of Financial Services' hearings on virtual currencies.

The twins are also keynote speakers at Money2020 later this year, which is expected to attract thousands of financial industry attendees.

The SEC has recently issued guidance that warned investors bitcoin:

"Has the potential to give rise both to frauds and high-risk investment opportunities."

Nevertheless, the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust continues to make filings with the US government's regulatory body for securities, suggesting its listing on NASDAQ could very well occur at some point in the future.

Winklevoss image via Huffington Post

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

WinklevossSecondMarketNasdaqCameron WinklevossWinklevoss Bitcoin Trust