Is a Bitcoin ETF on the Horizon?

With Bitcoin-mania taking over much of the discussion around currencies of late due to the rapid rise in the value of the crypto-currency (the price of a Bitcoin has more than doubled from mid-march, to approximately $2,350 as of May 23), many investors looking for exposure to the currency have been looking for an ETF to invest in.

Having a security for sale on a respected exchange would, in theory, open up the market to investors who would otherwise not have access to Bitcoin or Bitcoin-related companies.

A proposed ETF has been brought forward by Bats Global Markets, the operator of the exchange on which the proposed Winklevoss Bitcoin ETF (COIN) would trade.

While a decision was handed down by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Comission (SEC) on March 10, rejecting the new ETF due to an alleged lack of oversight regarding market manipulation and surveillance-sharing agreements between exchanges, a petition for review has been filed by Bats and agreed to by the SEC on April 24.

The arguments for and against the proposed exchange will be reviewed again by the SEC, with many market participants hopeful that a transparent and widely-available security will come to fruition in the near-term.

Much of the mystery surrounding the price of Bitcoin and the significant volatility the currency has experienced in recent years are significant headwinds for the successful introduction of a Bitcoin ETF, however should the exchange be able to meet the high standards of the SEC, investors may have something new and shiny to consider in short order when the SEC makes its final decision.