SEC Suspends Trading in Bitcoin and Ethereum Investment Products

The regulator pointed to “a lack of current, consistent and accurate information” in the two crypto investment vehicles issued by Swedish firm XBT Provider AB following their entry into the US market last month.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Sunday issued an order to halt the trading in Bitcoin Tracker One (CXBTF) and Ether Tracker One (CETHF), two investment products that track cryptocurrencies. The two exchange-traded notes (ETNs) are issued by Swedish company XBT Provider AB, a subsidiary of U.K.-based Coinshares Holdings.

The two products have been listed on the Nasdaq Stockholm exchange since 2015 and entered the U.S. market last month under the ticker CXBTF, enabling domestic investors to access and invest in the crypto ETNs in an over-the-counter (OTC) market with their U.S. dollars.

“The broker-dealer application materials submitted to enable the offer and sale of these financial products in the United States, as well as certain trading websites, characterize them as ‘Exchange Traded Funds’,” the SEC elaborated, explaining its decision in its official order. “Other public sources characterize the instruments as ‘Exchange Traded Notes.’ By contrast, the issuer characterizes them in its offering materials as “non-equity linked certificates.’”

The regulator said:

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

The SEC claimed the ETNs’ presence in the U.S. market resulted in “confusion amongst market participants”, resulting in the temporary halt. The suspension commenced at 1730 EDT on Sunday, September 9 and will last until 11:59 EDT on September 20.

A representative for CoinsShares wasn’t immediately available for comment at press time.

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