Breaking: The first spot Bitcoin ETF has been approved

The United States and Exchange Commission has officially green lit the first regulated spot Bitcoin ETF in the country.

The regulator gave its official approval from applications from several financial exchanges. These include  ARK 21Shares, Invesco Galaxy, VanEck, WisdomTree, Fidelity, Valkyrie, BlackRock, Grayscale, Bitwise, Hashdex and Franklin Templeton. The approval will allow the exchanges to list and offer trading for a spot Bitcoin ETF.

Source: United States SEC

This approval marks the first ever exchange-traded product in the country that will give investors exposure to Bitcoin. The concept of the ETF means investors can buy shares in the ETF, which is underpinned by Bitcoin’s price, without directly buying Bitcoin or buying cryptocurrency through another exchange or ATM.

The first step into Bitcoin spot ETFs

The approval has been anticipated for some time now, with many institutional firms vying to be the first to offer the product. In 2013, the Winklevoss twins, the founders of Gemini, were the first to apply – and the first of many rejections – to launch a spot Bitcoin ETF. The SEC has pointed to market manipulation, the risk of fraudulent activity, and malicious trading practice as cause to reject ETF approvals in the past decade. In August 2023, the SEC lost a court case against Grayscale that meant the SEC needed to reconsider its stance against spot Bitcoin ETFs.
ARK Invest president Tom Staudt commented on the approval of the approval, calling cryptocurrency as “public good”. According to Staudt, the spot ETF is not about the firm looking to maximise profit but instead it is to allow a new audience gain exposure to Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. He noted:

It’s really about is removing any of the last barriers that may have kept people from looking at the space, and now that they can access it, they can access it at what we think is a very attractive price point, we think that it is going to increase the number of people.”

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