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Tyler Winklevoss: Bitcoin ETF “represents a whole new frontier”

There’s no way around it: Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss really imposed themselves in our news feed this week with their plan to create a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund. The famous twins filed their proposal with the north-American Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for a public listing of the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust. The proposed valuation is around $20 million, but the plan has 18 full pages describing potential risks.

That is why Tyler Winklevoss participated in a Q&A session, promoted by The Wall Street Journal, revealing some important information about the ETF.

Apparently, the twins want to reach “anyone who can’t get exposure to Bitcoin — such as pension funds — or anyone who doesn’t want to go through the hassle of buying or physically storing it, such as mainstream retail investors. The best metaphor is to compare it to gold. How many people actually directly buy and hold gold bars? The gold ETCs [exchange-traded commodities] made it possible for investors to do that indirectly”.

And what about the possibilities of seeing their plan approved by the SEC? “It’s the first-ever digital math-based asset ETP, so it represents a whole new frontier. We haven’t talked with the SEC yet, but we think that, in this situation, they are likely to have more questions than they might for something that’s been done before”.

One of the biggest concerns about this project are the 18 pages of risks that compose the report delivered to the commission. This can be explained by a need of transparency: “we want to be incredibly transparent and allow people to know exactly what they’re getting into. That means putting the risks of both Bitcoin and the trust structure out there for people to read themselves”, claims Tyler Winklevoss.

The entrepreneur doesn’t believe in any regulator “trying to outlaw Bitcoin”. The regulators “are looking to bring healthy and reasonable regulation, which I’m in favor of. Regulation can help bring Bitcoin into the mainstream without taking away the characteristics which attract people to it”.

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