Bitcoin price surpassed $1,228 earlier today on major Bitcoin exchanges including Bitfinex, Bitstamp, Kraken and bitFlyer due to the industry’s optimism towards the Winklevoss twin’s Bitcoin ETF approval on March 11.
Digital currency exchanges in Asian markets including Japan and South Korea, which control over 52 percent of the global Bitcoin exchange market, have been facilitating Bitcoin trades in the range of $1,260 to $1,270, with a $50 premium in contrast to the global market.
Traders on bitFlyer in particular, the world’s largest Bitcoin exchange that processes 60 percent of trades of the Japanese Bitcoin exchange market amounting to 94,520 Bitcoins per day, is still trading Bitcoin at $1,262, a value nearly $39 higher than Bitfinex and Bitstamp.
Speculation on Bitcoin ETF Approval
The strong performance of Bitcoin price is a result of the speculation of the Bitcoin industry towards the approval of the Winklevoss twin’s Bitcoin ETF COIN, which is awaiting its final decision by the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) to be made public on March 11.
Prior to the release of a memorandum on Feb. 22 by SEC Attorney and Adviser Neel Maitra, many analysts including Needham & Co Vice President of Equity Research Spencer Bogart noted the low probability of the COIN ETF being approved by the SEC.
The reason behind the prediction of Bogart was that if a Bitcoin ETF is approved by the SEC and it does well in the public market, SEC officials or whoever that made the final decision to make the ETF public will not receive any form of incentive out of the deal. However, if the ETF fails and controversy emerges as a result, SEC officials will be responsible for their actions.
“We have pegged the odds at less than 25 percent. That is because the very first thing the SEC lists in its own mission statement is protecting the investing public. When you think about the game theory aspect of this, if I work at the SEC and I approve this ETF. and it goes well, nobody is probably going to come around and pat me on the back and give me a promotion. But if I approve it and a lot of money flows into it, and something goes wrong, I am likely to lose my job,” said Bogart.
In other words, Bogart explained that it is a go-to decision for SEC officials to turn down any risky funds like the COIN ETF as they don’t benefit from the strong performance of the ETF but are still wholly responsible for the outcome of the ETF.
Speculations began to change in favor of the Winklevoss twins and the Bitcoin industry when the Feb. 14 SEC-Winklevoss twins roundtable discussion memorandum was released. In the memo, the SEC revealed that its Division of Trading and Markets, Division of Corporate Finance, State Street representatives, KCG Holdings, Susquehanna International, ConvergEx and BATs participated in the meeting to discuss the future of the ETF and its performance when approved.
The SEC brought in outside advisors in KCG Holdings and Susquehanna International to offer unbiased insights into how the Winklevoss twin’s Bitcoin ETF could perform in the near future.
Based on the current Bitcoin price trend, it could go both ways. The Bitcoin ETF approval process on March 11 could either allow Bitcoin to achieve new highs again or lead to a short-term decline.