spot Bitcoin ETF seen as ultimate endorsement for institutional investors

Cathie Wood believes the SEC’s decision on spot Bitcoin ETFs may significantly impact institutional crypto adoption.

Wood views this imminent approval as a pivotal moment, suggesting that such approval could be the “final seal of approval” for institutions considering crypto investments. In collaboration with 21Shares, ARK Invest awaits a decision on their ARK 21Shares Bitcoin ETF (ARKB) proposal, with a ruling expected by Jan. 10.

The SEC’s previous approval of Bitcoin futures ETFs in October 2021 was seen as a cautious yet progressive step despite concerns about counterparty risks compared to spot products backed by Bitcoin in cold storage. Most Bitcoin ETF proposals name Coinbase as the custodian, which adds a layer of security and legitimacy.

A court victory in July by Grayscale Investments against the SEC further underscores the tension and evolving landscape. The court criticized the SEC’s decision to deny Grayscale’s Bitcoin ETF conversion while allowing futures-based funds, labeling it “arbitrary and capricious.”

Wood’s optimistic forecast for Bitcoin’s value (BTC), predicting it could exceed $1 million in the long term, is matched by Bloomberg Intelligence analysts’ high confidence in approving a spot Bitcoin ETF by Jan. 10. This optimism is a departure from the SEC’s historical reluctance to support spot Bitcoin ETFs.

21Shares President Ophelia Snyder noted recent pattern breaks in the approval process, indicating a potential shift in the SEC’s stance. Recent updates in Bitcoin ETF filings, such as BlackRock’s inclusion of seed capital language and technical amendments addressing concerns like Bitcoin mining’s electricity usage, suggest an active dialogue with the SEC.

The entrance of major firms like BlackRock into the Bitcoin ETF space has reinvigorated efforts by other financial giants like Fidelity and Invesco. Wood anticipates that multiple firms, including ARK Invest, could receive approval simultaneously, depending on their filing specifics.


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