All 11 Bitcoin ETFs Just Got Approved by SEC

Multiple Bitcoin ETF applications win approval from the SEC and are now set to begin trading

By: André Beganski

January 10, 2024

The Securities and Exchange Commission approved all 11 spot Bitcoin ETFs on Wednesday, clearing the way for billions of dollars of crypto inflows as asset managers like BlackRock and Fidelity prepare to launch them on U.S. exchanges.

Out of nearly a dozen ETF hopefuls none were denied, according to a 21-page SEC filing. That included applications from crypto-native firms like Bitwise, Hashdex, and Grayscale, which sued the SEC last year over a previous denial to convert its flagship Bitcoin Trust into an ETF — and won.

The SEC had long claimed that Spot Bitcoin ETFs could potentially be ripe for fraud or manipulation. But the SEC's approval filing noted that the issuers had completed satisfactory structuring to ensure ETFs track underlying price moves in order to “prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices."

The approval represents a watershed moment for digital assets and America’s top securities regulator: After hounding crypto-native firms for more than a year in the wake of FTX’s swift collapse, the watchdog’s approval of Bitcoin ETFs effectively cuts a ribbon on a bridge for Wall Street firms looking to link crypto and traditional finance.

Enabling investors to gain exposure to Bitcoin on a traditional exchange, without the worries of digital wallets or self-custody, spot Bitcoin ETFs have been described within crypto as a holy grail. Not only could they be more palatable to the average investor, but spot Bitcoin ETFs allow financial institutions to more easily gain Bitcoin exposure.

Source: Bloomberg News, SEC
Source: Bloomberg News, SEC

SEC Chair Gary Gensler put out a separate statement that played offense against people speculating that other crypto ETFs could be next.

"It should in no way signal the Commission’s willingness to approve listing standards for crypto asset securities. Nor does the approval signal anything about the Commission’s views as to the status of other crypto assets under the federal securities laws or about the current state of non-compliance of certain crypto asset market participants with the federal securities laws," Gensler wrote.

"While we approved the listing and trading of certain spot bitcoin ETP shares today, we did not approve or endorse bitcoin. Investors should remain cautious about the myriad risks associated with bitcoin and products whose value is tied to crypto."


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