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SEC approves spot bitcoin ETFs

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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has finally confirmed that it is to permit the creation and trading of spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs), with issuers and analysts anticipating billions of dollars of new flows as a result.

An SEC filing on Wednesday confirmed that the regulator has approved applications from 11 separate issuers, including Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, BlackRock Inc, Fidelity Investments, Invesco Ltd, and Ark/21Shares, with some ETFs expected to begin trading as early as Thursday.

In a statement, Marcelo Sampaio, Co-Founder and CEO of Hashdex, another of the issuers to have secured regulatory approval, said: “Today’s announcement marks the next phase for the industry by allowing US investors to fully participate in the promise of bitcoin.”

Robert Jenkins meanwhile, Global Head of Research at LSEG Lipper, also adopted a positive tone in a statement, saying: “The reality is that investors seem intent on incorporating crypto into their portfolios, regardless of access to ETF products. Today’s approval for spot products may therefore represent an enhanced level of organised oversight and transparency to this asset class, so will likely benefit investors.”

Despite the SEC’s approval though, the commission’s Chair Gary Gensler sounded a warning in a statement, describing bitcoin as “primarily a speculative, volatile asset”.

“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,” he said.

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