Bitcoin has rallied for months ahead of the expected launch of the first US exchange-traded funds (ETF) to hold the cryptocurrency.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is expected to make a decision today on the funds, known as spot bitcoin ETFs. Approval would mark a watershed moment for the industry, allowing investors to purchase bitcoin in their brokerage accounts as easily as stocks.
A dozen or so asset managers, including traditional finance players such as BlackRock and Fidelity Investments, have joined the race to launch the first spot bitcoin funds. Many have filed updates registration statements as recent as yesterday.
The price of bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency, has been climbing in recent months, in part because of growing optimism that the spot bitcoin ETFs would be approved. In recent days, the price was above $450,000, its highest level in nearly two years.
Crypto advocates contend that the launch of the spot bitcoin funds could bring a new type of investor into digital assets. ETFs are an instrument that financial advisors use regularly. The idea is that advisors and investors who have been spooked by the intricacies around custody of bitcoin would be more willing and able to buy crypto in an ETF wrapper.
The SEC faces a final deadline of today, Wednesday, to approve or reject the first applicant. The decision was previously deferred three times.
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