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What the SEC’s Approval of Spot Bitcoin ETFs Really Means

Applications from 11 spot Bitcoin ETFs from asset managers were approved, with trading expected to start as soon as this week.

After months of speculation, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has finally authorized spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETF), paving the way for everyday investors to invest in cryptocurrencies.

Applications from 11 spot Bitcoin ETFs from asset managers were approved, with trading expected to start as soon as this week. Those asset managers are Bitwise, Grayscale, Hashdex, BlackRock, Valkyrie, BZX, Invesco, VanEck, WisdomTree, Fidelity, and Franklin.

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Fun fact: The Winklevoss twins were the first to submit a spot Bitcoin ETF application to the SEC in 2013, which was eventually rejected. That makes this moment 10 years in the making. As of roughly 11:30 a.m. EST on Jan. 11, Bitcoin is trading for over $46,000

Still, it wouldn’t be right if a big win for crypto wasn’t plagued by some confusion. On Tuesday, the SEC’s X account was compromised by an unknown entity that posted that the regulator approved a spot Bitcoin ETF. Bitcoin’s price shot up to nearly $48,000 before nosediving after the SEC and chair, Gary Gensler, deleted the post and released a statement saying spot Bitcoin ETFs hadn’t been approved yet.

It was bizarre, but even more bizarre was that a statement on spot Bitcoin ETF approvals still hasn’t been posted to the SEC or Gensler’s accounts on X at the time of this writing. SEC Commissioner Mark T. Uyeda did release an official statement from the agency, alongside words from Gensler, who unsurprisingly sprinkled in some spite about the news.

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

Gensler called spot Bitcoin ETF approvals the most sustainable path forward, but he also said the decision came after a court allegedly forced his hand to do so.

“It should in no way signal the commission’s willingness to approve listing standards for crypto asset securities,” Gensler said in his statement. “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.”

This decision comes after Bitcoin turned 15 years old and broke the $47,000 threshold earlier this month. Boardroom will continue to report on Bitcoin’s movements as it inches closer to surpassing $50,000 and beyond.

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About The Author
Michelai Graham
Michelai Graham
Michelai Graham is Boardroom's resident tech and crypto reporter. Before joining 35V, she was a freelance reporter with bylines in AfroTech, HubSpot, The Plug, and Lifewire, to name a few. At Boardroom, Michelai covers Web3, NFTs, crypto, tech, and gaming. Off the clock, you can find her producing her crime podcast, The Point of No Return.