VanEck to Inform SEC About Bitcoin ETF

Earlier the SEC rejected all applications for the launch of Bitcoin-ETF
25 July 2018   1169

New York investment fund VanEck Associates has made a new attempt to inform SEC of its position on bitcoin-ETF and potentially push it to issue a permit to launch such a financial instrument.

As Bitcoinist writes, on July 20 VanEck sent a letter to the SEC, in which it again expressed its belief that the industry is ready to accept and support the ETF.

As you may know, earlier the SEC rejected all applications for the launch of Bitcoin-ETF. In addition, in January the Commission informed VanEck representatives that it was necessary to give "satisfactory" answers to a number of questions, before it would consider it possible "appropriate for fund sponsors to initiate registration of funds that intend to invest substantially in cryptocurrency and related products."

Apparently, VanEck believes that the company has those "most satisfactory" answers.

In the Staff Letter, you raise a number of concerns for cryptocurrency and cryptocurrency-related investment funds concerning valuation, liquidity, custody, arbitrage, potential manipulation, and other risks. We believe these concerns have appropriate answers […] moreover, by offering investors exposure to bitcoin through a regulated investment product, we believe the proposed ETF will be consistent with the Securities and Exchange Commission’s […] mission to protect investors, maintain fair, orderly, and efficient markets, and facilitate capital formation.

VanEck Letter

VanEck also analyzes each of the risks outlined by the Commission in detail and explains why they do not consider them an obstacle for launching Bitcoin-ETF.

Given the proposed ETF’s regulation under the Securities Act of 1933 and 1940 Act and the fact that it offers exposure via regulated and surveilled bitcoin futures, we reasonably expect the proposed ETF to reduce potential manipulation and operational risk associated with a bitcoin investment product. 

VanEck Letter

In June VanEck and SolidX filed a joint application for the opening of VanEck SolidX Bitcoin Trust - bitcoin-ETF, which will be immune from theft and loss of access to funds. The proposed product will be tied to a new index from Van Eck, which instead of exchanges will collect the price of bitcoin from US-based over-the-counter platforms. 

Israeli BTC Investors to Face Catch 22

They need to pay taxes from Bitcoin investing in order to avoid their property arrest, but banks don't take their money due to AML issues
06 August 2019   168

Bitcoin investors in Israel are faced with the impossibility of paying taxes, as local banks refuse to accept funds received from the sale of cryptocurrencies because of the risks of money laundering and terrorist financing. About this writes the local edition of Haaretz on August 6.

Bitcoin is not recognized as a currency in Israel, therefore, individuals must pay 25% of the income from cryptocurrency trading to the treasury, and legal entities - 47%.

Investor Ron Gross told the publication that he acquired bitcoins in 2011 and reported his income to the tax office. In 2017, the bank that served Gross began to refuse to accept funds received from the sale of bitcoins. The investor met with representatives of the bank to demonstrate to them a 70-page history of bitcoin transactions as confirmation of the origin of the funds, but failed to convince them.

The tax authority is aware of the problem, but they say the ball isn’t in their courts. I’ve tried working with almost all the banks, but the minute they hear the word ‘Bitcoin’ they freeze up.

Ron Gross

Bitcoin investor from Israel


Since Gross was unable to pay taxes on time, his bank account, home, and even scooters were arrested. According to the investor, the tax authorities know about the problem, but can do nothing.

According to Haaretz, the tax office is aware of $ 86 million in unpaid taxes on income from cryptocurrency trading. It is possible that the real amount may be significantly higher.

Roy Arav, another Bitcoin investor, kept the proceeds from trading Bitcoin in an account with Israeli bank Discount under the control of the Bit2C exchange. The bank refuses to transfer money to Arava’s personal account under the pretext that its politicians forbid it to transfer funds related to virtual assets to client accounts due to the risks of money laundering and terrorist financing.

Arav also could not pay taxes and was forced to sue the bank. According to the investor, the authorities entered his position and granted him a deferral of time for the consideration of the claim.