BusinessConfused About Bitcoin ETFs? Read This!

Confused About Bitcoin ETFs? Read This!

The crypto industry can breathe a sigh of relief: It looks like a federal U.S. regulator will soon allow the world’s largest traditional finance asset managers and other firms to list and trade shares of a vehicle giving retail and institutional investors exposure to the price of a decentralized, trustless, stateless digital asset (if you’re in the U.S.). But of course, the bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) drama wouldn’t be complete without, well, drama.

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Stop it

The narrative

On Tuesday afternoon Eastern time, the official X (formerly Twitter) account belonging to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that all outstanding applications to list and trade shares of a spot bitcoin ETF had been approved. The problem was that none of these applications had been approved; the account was “compromised” and someone posted a ‘shopped graphic.

On Wednesday, Cboe BZX exchange started taking some additional steps to list and trade shares of spot bitcoin ETFs, further suggesting we may be close to an approval.

Why it matters

A spot bitcoin ETF is seen as a vehicle that retail traders can invest in (through everyday brokerage accounts) and institutional investors can access (because the shares are registered securities).

Breaking it down

First off: There are tons of little signs that suggest a spot bitcoin ETF is getting approved, probably later today. Cboe has filed acceleration requests to register that it will list and trade shares of various ETFs. It also sent letters out on Tuesday saying it planned to begin trading pending approvals.

Fidelity’s brokerage has started setting up pages for some of the ETFs that may launch as soon as Thursday morning. E-Trade later started doing the same, suggesting they’re also preparing to let their customers buy and trade shares of these products.

Combined with the back-and-forth between SEC officials and issuers, these signs all hint that an ETF may well launch – soon. And if one is approved, it’s likely the entire slate will be allowed to go live.

Of course, this isn’t crypto unless there’s some ridiculous drama. On Tuesday, the SEC’s X/Twitter page was compromised, leading to a tweet saying the ETFs were approved. X’s Safety team claimed that an unknown party was able to gain control over the phone number associated with the @SECgov account, and that the account did not have the security measure known as two-factor authentication enabled.

SEC officials have, as of the time of writing this, not responded to a request for comment on what happened or on the X statement.

(Editor’s note: I recommend enabling two-factor authentication on your accounts, especially in this day and age. You can use hardware keys like Yubikey or software tools like Authy or Google Authenticator,

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