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The Bitcoin Bugle: Resurrection

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Remember when the brothers Winklevoss announced, with customary fanfare, that they’d be making bitcoin-ETF history, as long as no one stole their idea in the meantime? Me either. But they haven’t forgotten, and now, against some odds, people who want to lose money on fake money may eventually have the chance to do so on the Nasdaq.

On Thursday, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, the brothers most widely known for their legal battles with Facebook’s co-founder, Mark Zuckerberg, disclosed in a regulatory filing that they had chosen to list their Bitcoin exchange-traded fund, the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust, on the Nasdaq stock exchange….

“The fact that the S.E.C. has allowed the S-1 to progress this far is an indication that it may actually happen,” said Gil Luria, an analyst with Wedbush Securities who has studied Bitcoin, referring to the S.E.C. regulatory filing….

The Winklevoss’s proposed fund would buy one Bitcoin for every five shares. The company the two operate, Math-Based Asset Services, would be in charge of storing the fund’s Bitcoin holdings. The company has not yet decided how much its management fee will be….

“Our goal with this whole thing was to make it as similar to the gold E.T.F. as possible,” Cameron Winklevoss said in an interview. “We’re trying to reduce the friction of purchasing Bitcoin and securing it.”

Also back from the dead: The Magic: The Gathering Online Exchange!

Lawyers for creditors involved in two proposed class-action lawsuits against Mt. Gox have reached an agreement to support a group of U.S. investors' bid to revive the bankrupt bitcoin exchange, an agreement that would give the creditors a 16.5% stake in the prospective future company.

The creditors' lawyers filed details of the settlement, which also involved Mt. Gox's former owner and its former chief marketing officer, with a District Court in Chicago on Monday….

The creditors and the buyout group hope their deal will halt the liquidation proceedings launched by Mt. Gox earlier this month, which was given the go-ahead last week by the Japanese court, naming lawyer Nobuaki Kobayashi as the bankruptcy trustee to oversee that process.

Not that you’d want any part of either, sayeth the SEC.

The rise of Bitcoin and other virtual and digital currencies creates new concerns for investors. A new product, technology, or innovation – such as Bitcoin – has the potential to give rise both to frauds and high-risk investment opportunities. Potential investors can be easily enticed with the promise of high returns in a new investment space and also may be less skeptical when assessing something novel, new and cutting-edge.

We previously issued an Investor Alert about the use of Bitcoin in the context of a Ponzi scheme. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) also recently issued an Investor Alert cautioning investors about the risks of buying and using digital currency such as Bitcoin. In addition, the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) included digital currency on its list of the top 10 threats to investors for 2013….

If fraud or theft results in you or your investment losing bitcoins, you may have limited recovery options. Third-party wallet services, payment processors and Bitcoin exchanges that play important roles in the use of bitcoins may be unregulated or operating unlawfully.

Winklevoss Twins to List Bitcoin Fund on Nasdaq [DealBook]
Mt. Gox Creditors, Investors Agree to Try to Revive Bitcoin Exchange [WSJ]
Investor Alert: Bitcoin and Other Virtual Currency-Related Investments [SEC]


(Getty Images)

The SEC Is So Sued

That is what happens when you cross the Winklevoss twins.