SEC suspends trading in cryptocurrency products over ETF confusion


Yu Chun Christopher Wong | S3studio | Getty Images

A visual representation of the digital Cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, is seen on September 04 2018 in Hong Kong, Hong Kong.

The U.S. securities watchdog has halted trading in two cryptocurrency-related products because of confusion over the nature of the financial products.

The securities, Bitcoin Tracker One and Ether Tracker One, were slapped with a suspension notice by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on its website.

The regulator said that broker-dealer application materials and trading websites characterized the products as exchange-traded funds (ETFs) – listed funds that track a basket of assets.

Instead, the securities are “non-equity linked certificates,” the SEC said, citing the products’ issuer. The SEC ordered trading to be halted until September 20.

“It appears … that there is a lack of current, consistent and accurate information concerning Bitcoin Tracker One (Ticker Symbol: CXBTF) and Ether Tracker One (Ticker Symbol: CETHF), issued by XBT Provider AB (publ), a Swedish company headquartered in Stockholm, resulting in confusion amongst market participants regarding these financial instruments.”

It added: “The Commission is of the opinion that the public interest and the protection of investors require a suspension of trading in the securities of the above quoted company.”

Both securities are listed on the Stockholm stock exchange, part of Nasdaq’s Nordic markets, and promise exposure to the price performance of bitcoin and ether, the digital token of the Ethereum blockchain, with less fees.

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