The Winklevoss Bitcoin ETF is still awaiting regulatory approval from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, but now we know that when the time comes it will debut on the Nasdaq exchange.
Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss – the twins who gained notoriety by successfully suing Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) founder Mark Zuckerberg for $140 million for stealing their idea for a social network – filed an amendment to the SEC last Thursday noting that shares of the exchange-traded fund would trade on the Nasdaq exchange.
We still don't know how far the SEC itself has gotten in the approval process, but most observers expect the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust – the fund's official name – to be approved by the end of the year.
"The fact that the SEC has allowed the S-1 to progress this far is an indication that it may actually happen," Gil Luria, an analyst with Wedbush Securities, told The New York Times.
"Our goal with this whole thing was to make it as similar to the gold ETF as possible," Cameron Winklevoss told The New York Times. "We're trying to reduce the friction of purchasing Bitcoin and securing it."
Winklevoss was referring to the popular SPDR Gold Trust ETF (NYSE Arca: GLD), the shares of which are structured to track the price of a tenth of an ounce of the yellow metal.
To duplicate that structure, the Winklevoss Bitcoin ETF will buy one bitcoin for every five shares of the fund. The Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust is thought to hold about 200,000 bitcoins, which would peg the share price at about $87.
The Winklevoss Bitcoin ETF is just one sign of growing Wall Street interest in Bitcoin.
SecondMarket, which operates a Bitcoin hedge fund for wealthy investors, is seeking approval to offer the fund to retail investors. And in March Fortress Investment Group, Benchmark Capital, and Ribbet Capital announced they were buying stakes in San Francisco-based Pantera Bitcoin Partners, which runs its own Bitcoin hedge fund.
Here's why that matters…