Market Manipulation Preventing Bitcoin ETF Says Wisdomtree Exec

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  • A Bitcoin ETF won’t be approved until market manipulation fears are overcome, according to a Wisdomtree exec
  • Will Peck said that the SEC is still worried over the lack of regulated exchanges for Bitcoin
  • These thoughts echo those put forward but others in the ETF space

The biggest hurdle to a Bitcoin ETF is market manipulation, according to one of the men involved in trying to attain one. Will Peck, head of digital assets at Bitcoin ETF-applicant Wisdomtree, said yesterday that he believes a Bitcoin ETF will eventually come, but that dealing with claims of market manipulation is the biggest challenge that applicants have to overcome. This echoes what was already suspected in the Bitcoin space, with a Bitcoin ETF rejection in May suggesting that market manipulation was indeed the core issue.

Market Manipulation is “Hardest Nut to Crack”

Peck told Coindesk at the Converge22 conference in San Francisco yesterday that “market manipulation’s…the hardest nut to crack, where there’s been the biggest slowdown”, echoing the thoughts of Sal Gilbertie, CEO U.S.-based ETF provider of TeucriumCEO. Gilbertie said five months ago that the only way a Bitcoin ETF was going to be approved was if “an exchange proposing to list and trade a spot bitcoin [product] identifies… the regulated market with which it has a comprehensive surveillance-sharing agreement”.

Peck agreed, saying yesterday that, “The reasons that [the SEC has] given have really been around potential for market manipulation — that Bitcoin trading does not happen on regulated venues.”

Peck’s Thoughts Echo Others

Market manipulation has been a thorn in the SEC’s side ever since the first Bitcoin ETF was applied for by Gemini in 2016, with the fact that bitcoin is sold on so many unregulated exchanges meaning that the SEC cannot guarantee investors protection.

This is a scenario that doesn’t seem likely to change in the near future, although Peck believes that the U.S. will “ultimately get there” and approve one. However, Wisdomtree, which was denied a Bitcoin ETF in December last year, won’t be joining Grayscale in taking legal action against the SEC. Instead, the company plans to “engage more productively” with the SEC over calming the agency’s worries.