Bitcoin ETFs from Grayscale, BlackRock, and others approved by SEC and could start trading this week

By Christopher Zara

After a dizzying 24 hours that included a market-moving false alarm and boundless anticipation from crypto enthusiasts, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) confirmed late Wednesday that it has approved a number of proposed exchange-traded funds, or ETFs, tracked to the price of Bitcoin.

The approval of 11 spot Bitcoin ETFs includes those from heavy hitters such as Grayscale, BlackRock, Fidelity, Invesco, and others. The move is seen as a major endorsement of digital currencies by the country’s primary securities regulator, which has long expressed concerns about pervasive fraud in the world of crypto and has even fought battles over the issue in court. It has previously declined to approve more than 20 Bitcoin-tied products.

Gary Gensler, chair of the SEC and a noted crypto skeptic, said in a statement following the approval that the agency was essentially forced to change its tune after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia held that it did not satisfactorily explain why it had not approved an application from Grayscale.

“Based on these circumstances and those discussed more fully in the approval order, I feel the most sustainable path forward is to approve the listing and trading of these spot Bitcoin [exchange-traded product] shares,” Gensler said.

The ETFs could begin trading on major exchanges such as the Nasdaq and the New York Stock Exchange as early as Thursday. 

The price of Bitcoin remained uncharacteristically flat in the hours after the announcement, a sharp contrast to earlier this week when a phony tweet from the official SEC X account said the Bitcoin ETF was approved on Tuesday night. Turned out, the account had been hacked. The price of the cryptocurrency briefly skyrocketed and then plummeted just as quickly.

Some industry watchers have wondered whether the price will drop again once the initial excitement around the ETFs wears off. Importantly, the funds do not let investors trade Bitcoin directly; however, they may carry similar risks associated with the coin’s sometimes volatile price swings.

Fast Company – technology