Will Japan Approve a Bitcoin ETF?

Will Japan Approve a Bitcoin ETF

Bloomberg have this week reported that the Financial Services Agency in Japan is considering a Bitcoin Exchange Traded Fund (ETF). According to the article, the agency is currently investigating the level of popularity such a move would have in the country, having distanced itself from the possibility of Bitcoin futures.

The decision to shelve futures will have come as a surprise to many, especially given that the US has seen Cboe and CME futures appear as products over the last 18 months. However, a move to permit an ETF would be a massive boost to investors in the country and would definitely have the attention of the States and other major trading countries. The article goes on to mention the need to re-establish credibility after the now-infamous Coincheck heist: “But the possibility of ETFs tracking digital assets in Japan could revive appetite from retail investors after $500 million was stolen from Tokyo-based Coincheck Inc. a year ago.”

Uncertainty in the Media

However, while any such approval is yet to occur, other media outlets have cast their doubts. In fact, Cointelegraph published a piece earlier today (9th January) stating that the FSA has denied Bloomberg’s statement.

According to the article, “Following the reports, Cointelegraph Japan has contacted the regulator, and the FSA’s representatives have denied Bloomberg’s claims, stating: “At this moment, we are not exploring an approval of ETFs based on crypto assets.” The agency’s staff also told Cointelegraph Japan that they do not know who the person familiar with the matter cited by Bloomberg is.”

The Effect on the US

To a certain extent though, this report may have an effect in the US, regardless of whether it is true. There has been an ongoing battle to receive approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in America, with no success so far. Indeed, the Winklevoss twins (of Facebook fame) have had multiple applications for ETFs turned down. And the latest attempt – the VanEck ETF – will discover its fate very soon.

But a positive decision in Japan could have an enormous influence on the SEC and this could pave the way for crypto ETFs to go global very quickly. And the Winklevoss twins are refusing to let recent failures affect them. In a recent Reddit AMA (Ask me Anything), Tyler Winklevoss said, “Our thesis around bitcoin’s upside remains unchanged. We believe bitcoin is better at being gold than gold. If we’re right, then over time the market cap of bitcoin will surpass the 7 trillion dollar market cap of gold”.

And Cameron Winklevoss expanded on their plans to finally succeed with the SEC as follows:“Marketplace Conduct Rules- we implemented this to foster a rules-based marketplace.

  • Marketplace Surveillance – we have partnered with Nasdaq to implement Nasdaq’s SMARTS Market Surveillance technology to monitor the Gemini marketplace.
  • Market Surveillance Team – we have built an in-house team to monitor our marketplace for manipulative and deceptive practices.
  • Virtual Commodities Association – we are helping stand up an industry-sponsored self-regulatory organization for virtual commodity exchanges.