By Trevor Hunnicutt
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday denied for the second time in less than three weeks a request to bring to market a first-of-its-kind product tracking bitcoin, the digital currency.
The SEC announced in a filing its decision denying Intercontinental Exchange Inc's NYSE Arca exchange the ability to list and trade the SolidX Bitcoin Trust. Previously, the regulatory agency said it had concerns with a similar proposal by investors Cameron Winklevoss and Tyler Winklevoss.
Earlier this month, the SEC denied an application by CBOE Holdings Inc's Bats exchange to list The Bitcoin ETF proposed by the Winklevoss brothers. On Friday, Bats asked the SEC to review its decision not to allow that fund to trade. Bitcoin had scaled to a record of more than $1,300 this month, higher than the price of an ounce of gold, as investors speculated that an ETF holding the digital currency could woo more people into buying the asset.
But after denial of the Winklevoss-proposed ETF, the digital currency's price plunged as much as 18 percent. It has rebounded partially since then and was near $1,055 on Tuesday, up 1.3 percent from the previous day.
Bitcoin is a virtual currency that can be used to move money around the world quickly and with relative anonymity, without the need for a central authority, such as a bank or government.
Yet bitcoin presents a new set of risks to investors given its limited adoption, a number of massive cybersecurity breaches affecting bitcoin owners and the lack of consistent treatment of the assets by governments.
(Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt; Additional reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Editing by Diane Craft and David Gregorio)