Lawyer Behind Very First Bitcoin ETF Attempt Passes Away

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Alex Dovbnya

The veteran lawyer who worked on the very first Bitcoin ETF application has passed away

Kathleen Moriarty, a pioneering force in the investment management industry who developed the first U.S. exchange-traded fund, has passed away at 69, according to Chapman and Cutler LLP’s website.

Known affectionately by many as “the SPDR Woman” or “Spider Woman”, Moriarty had an astounding impact on investment funds due to her involvement in building the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust SPY. Her accomplishments enabled ETFs to become a booming industry.

In the cryptocurrency world, Moriarty is known for representing the Winklevosses twins in their endeavor to register a Bitcoin ETF.

She was working on the first Bitcoin ETF filing all the way back in 2013. Back then, Bitcoin was worth less than $100 per coin. “A true legend,” James Seyffart, ETF analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence noted. 

The first attempt to launch a spot Bitcoin ETF made by the Winklevoss twins was rejected by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). This decision was publicly published by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in March 2017 due to concerns about fraud and manipulation of the markets related to digital currencies. 

Although this first attempt was unsuccessful, it did spark a larger discussion about the potential for investors to gain exposure to cryptocurrency in regulated investments. The SEC has since received multiple other proposals for Bitcoin ETFs, but has yet to approve any of them.

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