Daily ETF Watch: Bitcoin Fund Gets Name

July 03, 2014

The Winklevoss twins, Cameron and Tyler, are moving forward with their proposed bitcoin ETF, updating regulatory paperwork to include the ticker “COIN” for the proposed fund, which the twins are advocating as a replacement for gold in investment portfolios.

Bitcoin, the peer-to-peer digital currency that isn’t managed by any central bank, emerged in 2008 and continues to gain wider acceptance from a variety of parties, including digital retailers and national sporting venues. While it does appear to be favored by black marketers hoping to cover their tracks, the Winklevoss twins have pitched bitcoin as a viable alternative to gold.

“Bitcoin and gold have a lot of things in common, but in a lot of areas, I think, bitcoin is preferable to gold. It’s very clear to see why people are talking about bitcoin as a digital gold, or gold 2.0,” said Cameron, speaking in front of a crowd of value investors last year in New York City.

The Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust first put the ETF into registration a year ago, and the use of reputed ETF securities attorney Kathleen Moriarty of New York law firm Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP has lent the entire endeavor an aura of credibility if not inevitability. Moriarty was the attorney who wrote the prospectus to the very first U.S. ETF, the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY | A-98).

The updated paperwork didn’t say how much the proposed ETF will cost. By comparison, the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD | A-100), the world’s biggest gold bullion ETF, has an annual expense ratio of 40 basis points, or $40 for each $10,000 invested.

Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss became famous for their role in the early days of Facebook. They charged and sued Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg with stealing their idea, finally settling the case for $20 million, according to the New York Times. The twins were also on the U.S. Olympic rowing team at the 2008 games in Beijing.

Name, Index Change

Effective July 8, PowerShares will change the name, underlying index and investment objective of three of its ETFs, including:

They will be renamed the:

  • PowerShares California AMT-Free Municipal Bond Portfolio
  • PowerShares National AMT-Free Municipal Bond Portfolio
  • PowerShares New York AMT-Free Municipal Bond Portfolio

The funds’ tickers will remain the same. Also, the underlying index for PWZ, PZA and PZT will, respectively, change from the:

  • BofA Merrill Lynch California Insured Long-Term Core Plus Municipal Securities Index
  • BofA Merrill Lynch National Insured Long-Term Core Plus Municipal Securities Index
  • BofA Merrill Lynch New York Insured Long-Term Core Plus Municipal Securities Index

To the:

  • BofA Merrill Lynch California Long-Term Core Plus Municipal Securities Index
  • BofA Merrill Lynch National Long-Term Core Plus Municipal Securities Index
  • BofA Merrill Lynch New York Long-Term Core Plus Municipal Securities Index

The changes were made public in a regulatory filing.

 

 

 

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