The Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust has yet to come to market, but just over a year after twin brothers Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss filed plans with the Securities and Exchange Commission for the trust, there is debate regarding how it should be classified.
Specifically, some market participants are pondering whether the Winkelvoss Bitcoin Trust will be classified as a currency ETF along the same lines of a PowerShares DB US Dollar Index Bullish Fund (NYSEArca: UUP) or a commodity fund comparable to the SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca: GLD).
Either way, the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust promises to be unique, if not ground-breaking.
“This may be the first time that an asset first comes to market in the form of an ETF. This is a new exposure offered to the broad investor base. In the past, any new asset that has come to the market has been in the form of another product convention first,” said David LaValle, vice president of transaction services for NASDAQ OMX, in a statement.
In May, a regulatory filing revealed the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust will trade on the Nasdaq. Last week, an updated filing showed the ETF will trade on the Nasdaq under the ticker “COIN.” [Ticker Announced for Bitcoin ETF]
LaValle says that making bitcoin, a decentralized digital currency based on a peer-to-peer network and can be exchanged through computers internationally without a financial intermediary, accessible via the ETF wrapper can help give it added credibility. However, questions remain for regulators.