Bitcoin steady as SEC greenlights first US ETFs

Bitcoin held steady on Thursday around its highest level since March 2022 after the SEC approved the first US listed exchange traded funds (ETFs) to track the cryptocurrency, in a move that could broaden its appeal.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said Wednesday it approved 11 applications, including from major firms like BlackRock, Ark Investments, Fidelity, Invesco and VanEck. Three Bitcoin ETFs, including BlackRock’s IBIT, were trading Thursday morning, with more expected later.

Bitcoin was last up 0.6% around $46,250, holding onto gains made this week in anticipation of the approvals. The world’s largest cryptocurrency has risen nearly 9% in 2023 and hit $47,915 on Tuesday, its highest since March.

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Industry participants were optimistic the new US-listed products would drive greater demand. “Retail and institutional investors no longer need to rely on futures trading or self-custody to have exposure to Bitcoin,” said Nick Ruck of ContentFi Labs.

Attention is now turning to Ethereum. BlackRock filed for a spot Ether ETF in November. Ether rose as much as 4.4% Thursday to over $2,600, its highest since May. “If Bitcoin is done, then it’s now very highly likely that the ETH one will get done as well,” said Standard Chartered’s Geoff Kendrick.