The Winklevoss twins are inching closer to creating the first publicly traded fund for the virtual currency Bitcoin.
Brothers Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss disclosed in a regulatory filing last week that they had chosen to list their Bitcoin exchange-traded fund, the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust, on the Nasdaq stock exchange.
The move comes one day after the Securities and Exchange Commission issued a warning to investors about Bitcoin, saying that it created new “concerns” for investors. Federal agencies have been scrambling to figure out how to regulate Bitcoin since the collapse this year of Mt. Gox, one of the most prominent exchanges for buying and selling the virtual currency.
“The fact that the SEC has allowed the S-1 to progress this far is an indication that it may actually happen,” said Gil Luria, an analyst with Wedbush Securities who has studied Bitcoin, referring to the SEC regulatory filing.
The Winklevoss brothers first applied to create the exchange-traded fund last summer. The goal is to provide investors of any size with an easy way to bet on the future price of Bitcoin, the volatile virtual currency that has gained momentum over the past several years.
Until recently, investors had few options for speculating on Bitcoin price changes. The currency, which can be bought and sold among users or “unlocked” by solving complicated mathematical riddles, has no central regulator or bank. The Winklevoss twins’ Bitcoin ETF would allow people to invest in Bitcoin without having to actually buy and store the virtual currency.