The tweet, sent from the SEC’s Investor Education account, has amassed more than 3,000 retweets at the time of writing — considerably more than what its content normally enjoys.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has raised eyebrows by tweeting about the “potential risks and benefits” associated with investing in a fund that holds Bitcoin futures contracts.
On Monday, the SEC is due to reveal whether it will approve the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF. Although this is only going to be based on futures, a number of analysts believe the exchange-traded fund is likely to be given the green light — becoming the first BTC-related ETF in the U.S. as a result.
A post on Thursday directed followers to an investor bulletin that was first written in June that encouraged investors “to weigh carefully the potential risks and benefits of the investment” — describing Bitcoin’s futures market as “highly speculative” and adding:
“As such, investors should consider the volatility of Bitcoin and the Bitcoin futures market, as well as the lack of regulation and potential for fraud or manipulation in the underlying Bitcoin market.”
The SEC went on to tell investors that they should determine the level of risk they are willing to take on, the potential loss that their investment could incur, and the fact that a rise in spot prices might not result in similar growth in a futures-focused fund.
A number of crypto enthusiasts saw the post as a sign that approval of a futures-based Bitcoin ETF was imminent — and inevitably, feverish speculation turned to when an exchange-traded fund based on the cryptocurrency’s spot price would follow.
Some analysts are concerned that approval of a Bitcoin ETF could end up being a matter of “buy the rumor, sell the news” — meaning there would be a muted impact on BTC’s price.