SEC advances review of six spot bitcoin ETF proposals

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has accepted applications for the creation of spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) from six firms, marking a significant step in the regulatory process.

Among the firms seeking approval are the world’s largest asset manager, BlackRock, as well as Bitwise, VanEck, WisdomTree, Fidelity, and Invesco. The SEC has formally acknowledged these proposals, which were listed on the Federal Register on Tuesday and Wednesday, indicating progress in the review process.

In the past, the SEC had rejected numerous applications for spot bitcoin ETFs, citing concerns related to investor protection and potential fraudulent activities. However, recent developments show a potential shift in the regulatory stance.

One of the factors contributing to this change is Nasdaq’s involvement. BlackRock, which aims to list its ETF on Nasdaq, has stated that it will work with Coinbase, the largest U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange, to address concerns related to market surveillance and investor protection. Similarly, other proposals from CBOE Global Markets have also included surveillance arrangements to address regulatory requirements.

Spot ETFs directly track the price of the underlying asset, in this case, bitcoin, and offer investors exposure to the cryptocurrency market without actually holding the digital asset.

The first bitcoin futures ETF received approval in October 2021, leading to a surge in the price of bitcoin to an all-time high of $69,000 in November of the same year.