Bitcoin ETFs Win SEC Approval, Broadening Crypto Access

U.S. regulators have approved bitcoin ETFs, expanding access to the cryptocurrency and potentially attracting more investors. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has given the green light to a dozen companies, including BlackRock, Fidelity, and Grayscale, seeking to create bitcoin ETFs. These ETFs will hold bitcoin itself, unlike the previously-approved bitcoin futures ETFs that hold derivative contracts tied to BTC. The SEC's decision comes after years of delays and rejections, and follows a court loss in 2023. Advocates argue that ETFs focused on bitcoin will allow both institutional and retail clients to invest in bitcoin's price movements without the need for direct ownership of the digital asset. However, not all SEC commissioners support the decision, with Commissioner Caroline Crenshaw dissenting over concerns of fraud and manipulation in the bitcoin spot market.


SEC Approves Bitcoin ETFs, Expanding Access to Cryptocurrency

U.S. regulators have approved bitcoin ETFs, dramatically broadening access to the 15-year-old cryptocurrency. The Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday declared effective key filings from the markets seeking to list the groundbreaking products. They will begin trading on Thursday.

Bitcoin's price topped $47,500 following the decision. Other cryptocurrencies rallied, too.

BlackRock, Fidelity, and Grayscale Among Companies Seeking to Create Bitcoin ETFs

About a dozen companies, including BlackRock, Fidelity, and Grayscale, sought to create bitcoin ETFs. In recent days they've announced – and, in some cases, slashed – the fees they plan to charge investors, suggesting a fierce battle to win investors' money is ahead. These are spot ETFs, meaning they hold bitcoin itself, versus the already-approved bitcoin futures ETFs, which hold derivatives contracts tied to BTC.

The green light from the SEC follows many years of delays and outright rejections of numerous attempts to launch spot bitcoin ETFs. It also comes just a few months after the agency was handed a resounding loss in court.

Supporters Celebrate the Approval, While Some Dissent with Concerns of Fraud and Manipulation

Advocates for a spot bitcoin ETF have long argued that a regulated trading product focused on the world's oldest cryptocurrency would allow institutional and retail clients to gain exposure to bitcoin's price movements without requiring them to set up wallets or otherwise directly invest in the digital asset. ETF shares, for example, will be available to any U.S. investor with a brokerage account.

SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce, a longtime advocate for the digital asset industry, said the logic behind the regulator's previous rejections for spot bitcoin ETF filings was 'perplexing.' However, SEC Commissioner Caroline Crenshaw dissented from the approval order, expressing concerns over the safety of the bitcoin spot market from fraud and manipulation.