Will The SEC Approve Spot Bitcoin ETFs In 2023?

Bitcoin, Crypto-Currency, Currency, Money, Hand, Keep

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In this episode of ETF Spotlight, I speak with Ophelia Snyder, co-founder, and president of 21Shares, the world's largest issuer of crypto ETPs, about the race for a spot Bitcoin ETF.

Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss first filed for a spot Bitcoin ETF more than 10 years ago when the cryptocurrency was trading under $100. Since then, the SEC has rejected more than 30 spot Bitcoin ETF applications, but there is speculation that the agency may finally give its blessing to one now.

Bitcoin has rebounded over 80% this year, although it is still down more than 55% from its 2021 peak. Crypto-related stocks like Coinbase (COIN - Free Report) and MicroStrategy (MSTR - Free Report) have more than doubled in 2023.

Last month, BlackRock (BLK - Free Report), the world's largest asset manager, filed for a spot ETF application. Many other ETF providers also joined the race with their filings. 21Shares has filed a spot Bitcoin ETF application in partnership with Cathie Wood's ARK Invest and is first in line currently.

The decision on the lawsuit filed by Grayscale against the regulator over the conversion of its massive Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC - Free Report) into an ETF is expected this fall. GBTC's discount to its NAV has narrowed significantly since BlackRock's filing.

The SEC had cited concerns about fraud and market manipulation in rejecting spot Bitcoin applications and the need for a "comprehensive surveillance-sharing agreement with a regulated market of significant size." Will the proposed surveillance-sharing agreements in the latest batch of filings satisfy the agency?

The ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITO - Free Report), the first US-listed ETF that provides exposure to Bitcoin through futures, gathered over $1 billion in just two days, while those that entered the market later struggled to gather assets.

The first-mover advantage is significant in the ETF world, as we have seen in many cases, so no one wants to be left behind.

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