The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is poised to approve the first spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds as early as this week, according to people familiar with the matter.
Bitcoin Spot ETF May Start Trading Next Week
The SEC may notify some of the 14 asset managers that have applied for spot bitcoin ETFs that they have been cleared to launch their products as soon as Tuesday or Wednesday, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. The ETFs could start trading as early as the following Monday, they added.
The move would mark a historic moment for the cryptocurrency industry, which has been waiting for years for the SEC to green-light a spot bitcoin ETF. Such a product would track the price of the largest digital asset and allow investors to gain exposure without having to buy and store it themselves.
The SEC Hasn’t Commented on Status of Applications
Spot bitcoin ETFs differ from the futures-based ones that the SEC has already approved, which track contracts that trade on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Futures-based ETFs typically have higher fees and lower liquidity than spot ones, making them less attractive for retail investors.
The SEC has not officially commented on the status of the spot bitcoin ETF applications, which include proposals from Fidelity Investments, VanEck Associates Corp., WisdomTree Investments Inc. and others. The regulator has previously expressed concerns about the potential for fraud and manipulation in the bitcoin market, as well as the lack of oversight and custody standards.
An approval by the SEC would mark a watershed moment for the cryptocurrency industry, as it would be a strong indication that Bitcoin, the premier digital asset, has been legally recognized as an asset class and investment instrument.