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A Long Journey | Bitcoin Spot Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) Finally Approved After 14 Years of Approval

The year 2024 marks the dawn of a new era, not only for technology but also for finance, with a major victory for the Bitcoin Spot ETF (exchange-traded fund). This is a time to honor the vision and tenacity of the past.

When the pioneer cryptocurrency and digital currency, Bitcoin, was launched in January 2009, it didn’t look like a real-world asset or an “agreed” digital value at all, but rather a bag of gold that was almost ignored because it faced enough rejection from all stages. Even with Satoshi Nakamoto’s white paper, Bitcoin has not been warmly received in the financial world.Bitcoin mining

However, despite its promise, Bitcoin remains shrouded in mystery and skepticism. It took a few years for Bitcoin to solidify its value in the technological, financial, and digital economy, and it plays a large role in many other cryptocurrencies.

However, on January 10, 2024, the SEC approved all 11 bitcoin spot ETFs in its official filing. the SEC’s long-awaited green light marked a watershed moment, not only for bitcoin, but for the cryptocurrency industry as a whole. the SEC’s approval of the bitcoin spot ETFs was a major step forward for the cryptocurrency industry, and it has been a long time coming.

The 14-year journey has been arduous and skeptical. Regulatory hurdles have become increasingly prominent, with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission citing concerns about market manipulation and investor protections for multiple rejections. Attempts like the Bitcoin Futures ETF offer limited exposure and fail to capture the true nature of a spot ETF’s direct price tracking.

Bitcoin Spot ETF Explained

The recent approval of Bitcoin spot ETFs has stirred up excitement across the financial community. But what exactly are these instruments? How will they affect the future of BTC and the broader investment landscape?

Bitcoin “spot” ETFs (exchange-traded funds), unlike futures-based funds, do not track the price of bitcoin futures contracts. Instead, they take a more direct approach, keeping the underlying asset (bitcoin itself) in a secure digital custodian.

This eliminates the potential for “basis risk,” where the futures price deviates from the actual cash price of bitcoin. In short, spot ETFs provide a more direct and transparent way to gain exposure to BTC price movements, similar to traditional gold-backed ETFs.

Bitcoin spot ETFs function similarly to traditional ETFs, such as those that track stock market indexes. they pool investor funds, purchase bitcoin, and hold it securely. each share of an ETF represents fractional ownership of a pool of bitcoins, allowing investors to participate in the market without having to directly hold or manage the cryptocurrency. This removes technical complexity and potential security risks, especially for those with limited cryptocurrency experience, and may broaden the base of bitcoin investors.

Origins of Bitcoin ETFs (Early and Conceptualized 2013-2017)

The earliest spark of the Bitcoin ETF concept can be traced back to 2013, when the Winklevoss twins first proposed their Gemini ETF.The Winklevoss Gemini Cameron and Tyler, both tech entrepreneurs, filed the first Bitcoin ETF, the Gemini ETF, in 2013, beginning a A decade-long journey to regulatory approval began.ETC Miner

The bold proposal was rejected out of hand during the tenure of former SEC Chairman Jay Clayton, who later resigned in 2020 and became a proponent of cryptocurrencies. Interestingly, Clayton is now actively involved in crypto regulation when he joins the advisory board of crypto-hosting platform Fireblocks.

The next few years will be a crucible of innovation and uncertainty. Despite Bitcoin’s soaring market capitalization, which attracted fervent supporters and cautious observers, the SEC remained hesitant. The regulator’s concerns about market manipulation, price volatility and the nascent state of blockchain technology have been cited as reasons for repeated rejections of follow-on ETF proposals, including Grayscale’s attempt to convert its Bitcoin Investment Trust into a spot ETF.

However, alongside the rejections, there have been some developments. Technological advances have improved blockchain security and custodial solutions, addressing initial concerns about vulnerabilities and potential trade laundering. Bitcoin’s global adoption, particularly Canada’s approval of spot ETFs in 2021, serves as a compelling case study for improving accessibility and market stability.

During this time, the position of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has also slowly evolved.Gary Gensler’s appointment as SEC Chairman in 2021 brought a new openness to dialog and exploration of potential regulatory frameworks for cryptocurrencies. Despite its limitations, the first U.S.-listed futures-based Bitcoin ETF was approved in October 2021, but it gave us a glimpse of what was to come.

Turning point: a decade of persistence pays off (2018-2023)

While the cryptocurrency boom and subsequent crash of 2017-2018 sent shockwaves throughout the industry, it also served as a melting pot, forging resilience and driving a renewed focus on compliance and innovation. Rather than be deterred by previous rejections, industry figures like Grayscale continued to refine their proposals, incorporating key safeguards and addressing regulatory concerns.

This relentless pursuit of approval eventually came to fruition in 2023, when in May, Cathie Wood’s ARK Investments filed for a spot bitcoin ETF, setting a clear deadline for the SEC’s decision.

Then, in June, BlackRock made waves in the financial world by entering the space with its own spot bitcoin ETF filing. The move by the traditional financial giant marked a significant shift in market sentiment, indicating growing institutional confidence in Bitcoin’s potential.

The next few months were a whirlwind of activity. Fueled by the momentum of BlackRock’s move and the prospect of imminent approval, a flurry of filings came in from the likes of Fidelity and Invesco, and in August, Grayscale scored a key legal victory in the D.C. Circuit Court, further bolstering the spot ETF’s litigation and forcing the SEC to revisit its previous denial.

In the end, the SEC made a historic decision to approve 11 spot bitcoin ETF proposals, including those from BlackRock, Fidelity, and VanEck. This moment marks the culmination of a decade-long struggle and the mainstream acceptance of investor participation in the cryptocurrency space.

Ripples in the Cryptocurrency Space: The Impact of Bitcoin Spot ETFs (2024)

The arrival of spot ETFs has cast a wide net, sending ripples through all areas of the financial world. Spot ETFs offer many potentials and challenges, with significant implications for market stability, institutional adoption, and regulatory oversight. There are positive predictions that Bitcoin’s market capitalization could top $1 trillion after the launch of the Bitcoin Spot ETF.

Let’s think about the broader implications of this pivotal moment, what it means for the future of finance, and the relationship between technology and the traditional financial system.

Crossroads for Investors

For retail investors, spot ETFs offer a convenient and familiar way to participate in the bitcoin market without having to hold the cryptocurrency directly. This opens the door to wider adoption and increased liquidity, potentially leading to smoother price discovery and reduced volatility. Forbes, an influential U.S. magazine, predicts that with the approval of the Bitcoin Spot ETF, the price of Bitcoin will go as high as $80,000.

2024 will also be a good year, if not one of the best seasons for cryptocurrencies in general and Bitcoin in particular, as it is the season of Bitcoin halving, which will have yet another huge impact on the crypto industry.

However, the inherent risks of Bitcoin, including price volatility and potential fraud risks, should never be underestimated. Investors should approach spot ETFs with cautious optimism, ensuring that they properly understand the technology, market dynamics and associated risks before taking a chance.

Institutions Embrace Bitcoin

The arrival of spot ETFs marks a significant step toward institutional acceptance of Bitcoin. The participation of prominent financial institutions such as BlackRock and Fidelity enhances the credibility of the cryptocurrency and paves the way for further integration with traditional financial products and services.

Concerns remain about the impact of institutional participation on market manipulation and potential conflicts of interest. However, regulatory oversight and a robust compliance framework are essential to ensure a fair and transparent market for all participants.

Market redefinition

By bringing in institutional investors and their risk management expertise, spot ETFs may bring greater market stability. This could mitigate some of the inherent volatility of the cryptocurrency market, attract a wider range of investors and promote sustainable growth.

SEC approval represents a cautious acceptance, not a blank check. Further regulatory clarity and possible adjustments to the existing framework may be needed to effectively address the unique challenges posed by the integration of cryptocurrencies into the mainstream financial system.

Beyond Bitcoin

Spot ETFs can serve as a gateway for investors to explore the broader cryptocurrency space. Their familiarity and ease of use may encourage the exploration of other promising blockchain-based projects, thereby accelerating the overall growth and development of the cryptocurrency ecosystem.

The success of spot ETFs will depend on the continued development of blockchain technology and related infrastructure. Scalability, security and user experience will remain key areas of concern to ensure the smooth operation and widespread adoption of crypto-financial products.

The 11 spot bitcoin ETF products (and their ticker symbols) approved on January 10, 2024 are:

-Belgrade’s iShares Bitcoin Trust (IBIT)

-ARK 21Shares Bitcoin ETF (ARKB)

-WisdomTree Bitcoin Fund (BTCW)

-Invesco Galaxy Bitcoin ETF (BTCO)

-Bitcoin By Bit ETF (BITB)

-VanEck Bitcoin Trust (HODL)

-Franklin Bitcoin ETF (EZBC)

-Fidelity Wise Origin Bitcoin Trust (FBTC)

-Valkyrie Bitcoin Fund (BRRR)

-Shades of Gray Bitcoin Trust (GBTC)

-Hashdex Bitcoin ETF (DEFI)


The approval of the Bitcoin Spot ETF is a watershed moment not only for the cryptocurrency itself, but for the entire financial landscape. It marks a new chapter in the Bitcoin saga that can capitalize on its disruptive potential within the framework of the existing financial system.

Moreover, this path forward is full of opportunities and challenges. Regulatory compliance and addressing investor risk concerns are important to ensure seamless integration with traditional financial systems and regulators, which will be critical in determining the ultimate success of this technological leap.

Write at the end

The approval of the Bitcoin Spot ETF is more than just a regulatory green light; it is a resounding declaration of Bitcoin’s arrival on the main financial stage.

However, the journey is far from over. This approval is a milestone, not the end. As we stand at this turning point, it is important to remember the spirit of resistance that gave birth to BTC. It was born out of a desire for autonomy, freedom from centralized control, and a fairer financial system.

While ETFs bridge the gap between this decentralized world and the established financial order, it is important not to lose sight of these core principles.



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