Last week, two exchange traded funds designed to be plays on blockchain technology debuted. Thing is the Amplify Transformational Data Sharing ETF (NYSEARCA: BLOK) and the Reality Shares Nasdaq Blockchain Economy ETF (NASDAQ: BLCN) do not have the term “blockchain” in their names and that is the way the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) wants it.
The SEC is taking a hard line against companies revealing new interest in blockchain.
“A number of firms in recent months have made waves by announcing that they are shifting to blockchain business ventures, including a firm previously dedicated the sale of iced tea,” reports CoinDesk. “And while those announcements have often sparked price increases, the trend itself has sparked warnings from both the agency as well as groups like FINRA as one potentially ripe for abuse by would-be fraudsters. In statements issued earlier today during an event in Washington, D.C.”
A blockchain is a decentralized database shared across all users that facilitates the process of recording transactions and tracking assets across a business network. This foundational technology is expected to pave the way for significant disruptions across many industries.
BLOK utilizes an actively-managed approach to investing in the fast developing world of blockchain-based technology, allowing the fund’s portfolio managers to respond in real-time to valuations, company fundamentals and announcements that may impact the blockchain marketplace.
BLCN tracks the Reality Shares Nasdaq Blockchain Economy Index, according to a SEC exemptive relief filing. The underlying index includes companies that are committing material resources to developing, researching, supporting, innovating or utilizing blockchain technology for their proprietary use or for use by others. These Blockchain Companies are committing material resources to further the use and deployment of blockchain technology to streamline the distribution and verification of cross-border payments; more efficiently store and secure cloud-based digital data; facilitate trusted transactions based on data security and privacy; and mitigate risk in supply chain management, among other uses.
“The SEC is looking closely at the disclosures of public companies that shift their business models to capitalize on the perceived promise of distributed ledger technology and whether the disclosures comply with the securities laws, particularly in the case of an offering,” said SEC Chairman Jay Clayton.
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