SEC Greenlights Spot Bitcoin ETFs

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has announced the approval of applications from eleven companies to issue the first spot Bitcoin ETFs. This decision was announced on the official website of the Commission by its Chairman Gary Gensler.

SEC Greenlights Spot Bitcoin ETFs

All applications submitted by the companies, including Grayscale, ARK 21Shares, BlackRock, Fidelity, Valkyrie, Bitwise, Invesco Galaxy, WisdomTree, Franklin Templeton, Hashdex, and VanEck, have been given the green light. Consequently, these investment products are now tradable on major exchanges such as the New York Stock Exchange, the Chicago Board Options Exchange, and Nasdaq.

It’s noteworthy that from 2018 to March 2023, the Commission had rejected numerous applications for spot BTC-ETFs. However, Grayscale successfully appealed the decision in the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The court directed the SEC to reexamine Grayscale’s application to transform Grayscale Bitcoin Trust into an ETF.

Chairman Gensler explained that, given the circumstances, the most appropriate course of action was to approve the listing and trading of spot Bitcoin exchange-traded products (ETP). The SEC’s decision pertains specifically to ETPs, with ETFs being considered a special case in this context.

The regulatory authority emphasised that its approval should not be interpreted as a willingness to establish listing standards for crypto assets classified as securities. The SEC’s head pointed out that the majority of crypto assets fall under securities laws due to their nature as investment contracts.

The permission for trading Bitcoin ETFs is restricted to regulated stock exchanges, with other exchanges and platforms not receiving approval from the Commission.

Despite allowing the listing and trading of spot Bitcoin ETFs, the SEC explicitly conveyed its disapproval of Bitcoin, citing its volatile characteristics, along with its association with illicit activities.

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