Crypto-related ETF Withdrawn by Reality Shares Trust, Following SEC's Request

  • Reality Shares Trust told to withdraw its crypto-related ETF proposal by the SEC.
  • Proposal has been withdrawn, as VanEck-SolidX re-submit bitcoin ETF application.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently requested the withdrawal of a cryptocurrency-related exchange-traded-fund (ETF) application - which was submitted by Reality Shares ETF Trust.

In an official letter published by the American securities regulator (on February 12th), the SEC clarified that the withdrawal was “at the request of the Staff of the US Securities and Exchange Commission. No securities have been sold in connection with the offering of the Fund.”

Launched by Blockforce Capital, the Reality Shares ETF Trust had initially submitted an application for an ETF (on February 11th) that proposed a portfolio comprising of bitcoin (BTC) futures contracts and more traditional sovereign debt instruments. Following the SEC’s request, Reality Shares has withdrawn its ETF filing.

Reality Shares' ETF Involved Bitcoin Futures

As mentioned in Reality Shares’ application, the proposed ETF was developed to “provide investment exposure to global currencies, both fiat and virtual currencies [cryptocurrencies], that have been widely adopted for use [as a store-of-value (SoV), international remittance, foreign-exchange (FX) trading] throughout the world.”

In its ETF application, Reality Shares Trust had proposed a bitcoin futures contract based on investments made by a wholly owned Cayman Islands-headquartered subsidiary. As noted in the proposal, the cash-settled BTC futures began trading (in December 2017) on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) and the Chicago Board Options Exchange (Cboe)

Earlier this month, another crypto-related ETF was jointly proposed by Sabretooth Advisors, an investment consultancy and AdvisorShares, a US-based investment management company. The ETF proposed by the companies has been designed to track stocks of traditional tech firms, in addition to the performance of blockchain and cloud computing businesses. According to its designers, the new ETF was developed to allow investors to make strategic investments in emerging technologies.

Bitcoin ETF "Only A Question Of When"

On January 30th 2019, Gabor Gurbacs, the digital asset strategy head at VanEck, announced that his firm along with the Cboe and SolidX had resubmitted (after withdrawing it earlier) an application to the SEC - which requested to allow the Cboe BZX Exchange to list shares of a bitcoin ETF.

Explaining why the initial bitcoin ETF application was withdrawn, Jan van Eck, the CEO of VanEck, said that the companies had been discussing the rule change with the SEC, however their talks ended due the US government shutdown. In order to avoid a potential rejection due to the government’s offices being closed, the proposal had been temporarily withdrawn.

Although a crypto ETF has not yet been approved, Ric Edelman, a 30-year Wall Street veteran, believes a bitcoin ETF will definitely be launched and that “it’s only a question of when.”

Rng Security Camera Hackers Start Demanding Bitcoin Payments From Victims

The owners of a Ring doorbell security camera in Texas have been targeted by a bitcoin extortion attempt, which they managed to thwart simply by removing the device’s batteries to shut it off. The case, nevertheless, shows Ring security camera hackers are now demanding cryptocurrency payments.

According to a report published by WFAA, spotted by Gizmodo, 28-year-old Tania Amador revealed her Ring security system was hacked by hackers looking to cash in on their access to the device, by demanding a ransom of 50 bitcoin, equivalent to around $360,000.

Speaking to WFAA Amador stated:

I was asleep and our Ring alarm was going off like an intruder had entered our home. Then we heard a voice coming from our camera.

The voice initially started claiming to be from Ring’s support team, notifying the homeowner her account had been terminated by a hacker. It soon added that if the didn’t pay the 50 bitcoin ransom, she would be terminated as well.

The situation appeared to turn worse for Amador and her partners, as the hackers managed to make it look like they were just outside her door after compromising the security camera, adding to the pressure of the situation. Their response was to reach the device and remove its batteries.

Without their batteries, the hijacked cameras simply went off and the bitcoin extortion attempt ended. Ring has notably been at the center of a controversy after various reports pf its doorbell cameras being hacked started emerging. A report by Motherboard showed that on hacking forums, software used to hack these devices is being sold for as little as $6.

This type of software is often sold on the dark web, where vendors even list Black Friday deals to appeal to their customers. Speaking to WFAA, a home security firm claimed that these security breaches were a result of third-party data breaches that include Ring account details, and not a security flaw within Ring’s security system itself.

Featured image via Unsplash.