Date
23 September 2018
The US SEC has halted trading in crypto-related investment products Bitcoin Tracker One and Ether Tracker One in the United States with immediate effect. Photo: Bloomberg
The US SEC has halted trading in crypto-related investment products Bitcoin Tracker One and Ether Tracker One in the United States with immediate effect. Photo: Bloomberg

US regulator halts trading in two cryptocurrency products

The US Securities and Exchange Commission has suspended trading in two investment products that track cryptocurrencies, citing confusion in the markets over whether the products are exchange-traded funds (ETFs), Reuters reports.

Trading has been halted in Bitcoin Tracker One and Ether Tracker One in the United States with immediate effect, the report said, citing a statement from the markets regulator.

The suspension will last until at least Sept. 20.

The products promise to track the price of the cryptocurrencies, less fees. They are both listed on a Nasdaq exchange in Stockholm, but trade “over the counter” in transactions that occur off exchanges within the US.

“It appears … that there is a lack of current, consistent and accurate information,” the SEC said in a notice posted on its website.

“Application materials submitted to enable the offer and sale of these financial products in the United States, as well as certain trading websites, characterize them as ‘Exchange Traded Funds.’”

The SEC has taken a strict stance against letting ETFs tracking bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies come to market.

But investment firms have been pushing other types of investments that attempt to make it as easy to trade cryptocurrencies as a regular stock.

Those products are sometimes called ETFs, but that term generally refers to a different and often more stringently regulated product, the report noted.

Some industry experts, including the largest ETF provider BlackRock, have called for regulators to standardize the terms used to describe ETFs and other kinds of investment products.

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CG/RC

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