The ETF fever might be making a comeback as SEC places itself in the spotlight once again following its decision to review their rejection of the bitcoin ETF. Heat now might be turned up a notch as the new kid in the block, ethereum, is trying its luck too, in a bid for Wall Street.
Joseph Quintilian and Gregory DiPrisco have founded EtherIndex which is to act as a trust for an Ethereum ETF with Coinbase acting as a custodian and price based on GDAX while Kraken is to act as back-up, both regulated exchanges.
Not much is known about the two, but Quintilian appears to be a Wall Street banker or trader, seemingly very well connected and apparently politically involved. He is a board member of Concord 51, a political action committee that targets young professionals, and, according to their LinkedIn, “not just the young Republican establishment, but also the unengaged.”
The two have also founded Axiom Markets, “a proprietary energy trading firm,” according to their website, and, interestingly, they say “Axiom Markets has melded technology and trading together. Our programmers and traders worked as a team during the development and implementation of our in-house proprietary platform.”
That makes it somewhat easy to see how they ended up at eth, but do they have a chance with their ETF? Mr. Eduardo A. Aleman, Assistant Secretary at the SEC, has made a new ruling on the eth ETF this April 21st, 2017. It’s slightly confusing.
First of all, Aleman has instituted proceedings “to determine whether the proposed rule change should be approved or disapproved.” He wants written comments from the public (presumably because he can’t do his own research as we saw from his last decision where outdated and factually incorrect information was used) and, he says he hasn’t made a decision but is “providing notice of the grounds for disapproval under consideration.” These grounds are now a bit familiar:
“The Commission is instituting proceedings to allow for additional analysis of the proposed rule changes… which requires, among other things, that the rules of a national securities exchange be “designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices” and “to protect investors and the public interest.”
Eth and bitcoin are similar, but also very different. First of all, none of the big Chinese exchanges lists eth for trading. Secondly, the two biggest eth exchanges are Coinbase and Kraken, both regulated.
Ethereum is backed by almost all household brands that have formed an alliance in support of the platform. Microsoft is a big proponent, with eth’s protocol added to Hyperledger, the open-source cross-industry blockchain development effort headed by the Linux Foundation.
The currency has a philosophy of “political neutrality.” The state of Arizona has now declared that smart contracts are to be treated no differently than any other contract. Mr. Aleman should approve.
Mr. Aleman, Open the Doors for Business
If he keeps rejecting these ETFs then he will show to a new generation that regulators are standing in the way of innovation in the guise of “protecting the public” or “preventing manipulation.” Why hasn’t the SEC delisted the banks that manipulated the LIBOR rates if they so keen on “preventing manipulation?”
Because that’s probably just filler. The decision, instead, appears political, probably by a democrat who should be fired due to the shambolic way he handled the bitcoin ETF rejection, allowing widespread speculation for weeks even though a decision had seemingly been made and rejecting it at, literally, the last minute.
Get out of the way of this generation’s invention SEC. Open the doors for business or your youth will just go to Britain where they’ll be welcomed with open arms, further precipitating your “third-world airports,” as President Trump called them.
Editor’s note: Article edited for clarity.
Featured image from Shutterstock.