Crypto Mixed; SEC Chairman Cites Investor Protection in Bitcoin ETF Approval

Prices of major cryptocurrencies remained mixed and with modest movements as the week drew to an end in Asia Friday.

Bitcoin gained 0.31% to $3,885.5 by 1:31 AM ET (05:31 AM GMT). Ethereum added 0.64% to $133.26 and Litecoin was up 0.87% to $56.401, while XRP dropped 0.81% to $0.31165.

Jay Clayton, Chairman of U.S. Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC), took the spotlight Friday as he talked of a Bitcoin Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF) with FOX Business. At a time when the SEC is considering approving a Bitcoin ETF, Clayton said he is concerned about investor protection.

“What I’m concerned about at the moment is if it can be reasonably demonstrated that the underlying trading is generally not manipulated, it’s happening on reliable venues with good rules and that custody is something we can feel comfortable about,” he said.

But Clayton did not comment on any specific Bitcoin ETF application. SEC will soon review the application for Bitcoin ETF proposed by VanEck and SolidX.

Elsewhere, Hong Kong-based crypto exchange Gatecoin received a court order to wind-up and cease operations immediately. The crypto exchange failed to retrieve funds lost in a dispute with a former payment services provider (PSP) and will enter liquidation.

In a statement published on Thursday, Gatecoin noted issues with banking services in September 2018 as its bank accounts in Hong Kong were frozen.

“Even after we managed to mitigate our loss by replacing that PSP with more reliable alternatives to process our clients’ transfers in September 2018, the situation did not improve because that PSP retained a large part of our funds,” the crypto exchange said.

Gatecoin assured its creditors that assets will be redistributed. In May 2016, the crypto exchange suffered a major hack with around $2 million worth of various cryptocurrencies lost, about 15% of its total crypto assets.