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A Bitcoin ETF Has Arrived In The United States

Following years of delay and debate, the SEC has finally greenlit a Bitcoin Exchange Traded Fund for the United States. On Tuesday morning, the ProShares Bitcoin Futures ETF should begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Also, many expect the fund to give typical consumers and major institutions both compliant and convenient exposure to Bitcoin.

The ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF

ProShares announced its upcoming launch this morning in a press release, confirming rumors circulating since Friday. On October 15th, the trading provider filed their Bitcoin ETF with the SEC expecting to launch early this week.

The ETF will trade under the ticker “BITO” on the NYSE. It will be available to investors through a brokerage account and be bought and sold like a stock. As the company reiterates, this provides an alternative route to crypto exposure besides self custody or an exchange account.

Granted, the fund will not invest directly in Bitcoin but instead in Bitcoin futures contracts. Multiple figureheads in the Bitcoin community call this an inferior form of crypto exposure compared to spot or direct investment. Nevertheless, most still see it as a significant regulatory milestone and a boon to the asset’s value over time.

ProShares CEO Michael Sapir says the product launch will expand Bitcoin access to the non-tech savvy.

“BITO will open up exposure to bitcoin to a large segment of investors who have a brokerage account and are comfortable buying stocks and ETFs, but do not desire to go through the hassle and learning curve of establishing another account with a cryptocurrency provider and creating a bitcoin wallet or are concerned that these providers may be unregulated and subject to security risks.”

He also asserts that his ETF will mark a historic day in the investing world. 2021 will remain in history as the Bitcoin ETF year, similar to how 2004 is famous for its gold ETF.

The SEC Finally Grants Permission

Though the SEC has made no formal announcement confirming their ‘approval’ of a Bitcoin ETF, they do not have to. The commission has shown tacit approval for ProShares’ fund by not explicitly rejecting it, which is enough. Furthermore, it recently released a tweet heavily implying that a Bitcoin Futures ETF was imminent. In this context, further obstruction from the SEC is unlikely.

Only weeks ago, the SEC rejected a string of proposed Bitcoin ETFs, citing investment protection concerns. However, SEC chairman Gary Gensler showed more openness to a Bitcoin Futures ETF at the time.

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In light of the news, other companies are lining up to see a Bitcoin ETF approved. For example, Grayscale recently filed to see their existing Bitcoin fund into a spot ETF.

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