The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Wednesday approved the first U.S.-listed bitcoin exchange traded funds (ETFs), a long-awaited move that will give regular investors access to indirectly invest in the cryptocurrency.
The approval on January 11 included 11 applications, including BlackRock (BLK.N), Ark Investments/21Shares, Fidelity, Invesco (IVZ.N) and VanEck. Most of the ETFs are expected to begin trading on Thursday.
ETFs will offer investors the opportunity to indirectly invest in the world’s largest cryptocurrency without actually holding it. Buyers will invest in an asset that tracks the price movement of bitcoin, which allows investors to avoid the inconvenience and risk of purchasing the crypto coin itself as some officials and investor advocates claim that the products carried risks.
”While we approved the listing and trading of certain spot bitcoin ETP shares today, we did not approve or endorse bitcoin,” said SEC Chair Gary Gensler.
Earlier, Standard Chartered expected spot bitcoin ETFs to attract inflows of $50-100 billion in 2024, if they are approved. As a result of the approval, the price of bitcoin could rise to $200,000 by the end of 2025.
The approval came in much sooner than Standard Chartered’s expectation that it would happen in the second quarter of this year.
The price of bitcoin was last up about 1% to $46,370 despite the approval as it actually rallied over 12% in the past month in speculation that the nod will come in early January.