As Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss s almost four-year-long pursuit to offer a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund or ETF nears its final deadline on March 11, developments in bitcoin continue to shift the calculus for tea-leaf readers.
On Thursday, bitcoin shed 10% of its price as two of the biggest Chinese cryptocurrency exchanges put a hold on withdrawals after the People s Bank of China warned Chinese exchanges about the need for stronger anti-money laundering and know-your-customer controls.
Previously, because many Chinese exchanges did not charge fees to trade, it appeared that 95% of all trading in bitcoin worldwide occurred in China.
A month ago, regulators in China urged exchanges to produce real volume, prompting the biggest three exchanges to institute fees for trading.
Bogart says that since this wasn t economically meaningful volume, the fact that trading is somewhat more evenly spread geographically worldwide probably only marginally helps the case for a bitcoin ETF with the SEC.
But I don t know that that was ever the main factor that the SEC was concerned about, he says.