The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is expected to rule on eight applications for Bitcoin spot exchange-traded funds by January 11, 2024. The applicants include some of the biggest names in the ETF industry, such as BlackRock, Fidelity, and Invesco.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is facing a deadline to approve or reject eight applications for Bitcoin spot exchange-traded funds (ETFs) by January 11, 2024.
A Bitcoin spot ETF would track the price of the cryptocurrency directly, rather than through futures contracts or other derivatives. It would allow investors to gain exposure to Bitcoin without having to buy, store, or manage the digital asset themselves.
High Hopes of Approvals This Time
The SEC has been reluctant to approve a Bitcoin spot ETF, citing concerns over market manipulation, fraud, custody, and investor protection. The regulator has rejected several proposals in the past, and has delayed or sought public comments on others.
However, some analysts and industry players are optimistic that the SEC will finally give the green light to a Bitcoin spot ETF this year, as the demand and adoption of cryptocurrencies grow. The SEC has already approved two Bitcoin futures ETFs, which track the price of Bitcoin through contracts traded on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.
Potential Issuers Awaiting Approval
The eight applicants for a Bitcoin spot ETF include some of the biggest names in the ETF industry, such as BlackRock, Fidelity, and Invesco. They are:
- BlackRock’s iShares Bitcoin Trust (IBTC)
- Fidelity’s Wise Origin Bitcoin Trust (FBTC)
- WisdomTree’s WisdomTree Bitcoin Trust (BTCW)
- Invesco and Galaxy’s Invesco Galaxy Bitcoin ETF (BTCO)
- Bitwise’s Bitwise Bitcoin ETP Trust (BITB)
- Ark Invest and 21Shares’ ARK 21Shares Bitcoin ETF (ARKB)
- VanEck’s VanEck Bitcoin Trust (HODL)
- Valkyrie’s Valkyrie Bitcoin Fund (BRRR)
Multiple Approvals Expected
The first application under SEC review is the one filed by Ark Invest and 21Shares on April 25, 2023. The SEC has until January 10, 2024 to make a decision on this proposal, and is widely expected to approve multiple Bitcoin spot ETFs together.
Bloomberg reported in December 2021 that the SEC plans to vote on the Bitcoin spot ETF applications in the coming days, citing people familiar with the matter. The report also said that the SEC is leaning toward approving the applications from BlackRock, Fidelity, and Invesco, which are among the largest and most established ETF providers.
A Major Milestone
The approval of a Bitcoin spot ETF would be a major milestone for the crypto industry, as it would boost the legitimacy, liquidity, and accessibility of the cryptocurrency. It would also likely attract more institutional and retail investors to the crypto space, and increase the competition and innovation among the ETF issuers.