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