SEC approves spot bitcoin ETFs in game-changer for crypto industry

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By Dan Sears

The US securities regulator on Wednesday approved the first US-listed exchange traded funds to track bitcoin, its Chair Gary Gensler said, in a watershed for the world’s largest cryptocurrency and the broader crypto industry.

The agency approved applications, including from BlackRock, Ark Investments and 21Shares, Fidelity, Invesco, and VanEck, among others, according to a notice on its website.

Some products are expected to begin trading as early as Thursday.

Gary Gensler’s SEC approved the first US-listed exchange traded funds to track bitcoin. ZUMAPRESS.com

The products — a decade in the making — would be a game-changer for bitcoin, offering institutional and retail investors exposure to the world’s largest cryptocurrency without directly holding it, and a major boost for a crypto industry beset by a string of scandals.

Standard Chartered analysts this week said the ETFs could draw $50 billion to $100 billion this year alone, driving the price of bitcoin as high as $100,000.

Other analysts have said inflows will be closer to $55 billion over five years.

Standard Chartered analysts this week said the ETFs could draw $50 billion to $100 billion this year alone. Getty Images
Some products are expected to begin trading as early as Thursday. REUTERS

“It’s a huge positive for the institutionalization of bitcoin as an asset class,” said Andrew Bond, managing director and senior fintech analyst at Rosenblatt Securities. “The ETF approval will further legitimize bitcoin.”

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Bitcoin has gained more than 70% in recent months on the expectation ETFs for the asset would be approved.

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