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Spotlight on Bitcoin ETF: What’s Next?

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Disclosure: The views and opinions expressed here belong solely to the author and do not represent the views and opinions of’ editorial.

The news of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission approving the first regulated Bitcoin spot exchange-traded fund (ETF) on January 10 roared through the crypto industry like wildfire. This decision marks a significant milestone in the crypto industry’s maturity. The first application for this instrument was filed all the way back in 2013 and ultimately got rejected by the SEC. Over a decade later, it has finally seen success, showcasing how far we’ve come.

The regulator’s long-awaited approval by both institutional and retail investors marks a transformative moment in legitimizing digital assets within the traditional financial framework. It signals a significant milestone in the evolving landscape of Bitcoin and crypto in general. Data shows that in just the first three days of trading, spot Bitcoin ETFs have drawn nearly $2 billion.

But what is the real potential lying behind the Bitcoin ETFs? What future developments could this mean, both for Bitcoin and other leading currencies? What will happen next? These are the big questions that people will be wondering about now.

So, let’s try to get a handle on things, shall we?

Bitcoin surpasses silver in popularity: ETFs mark game-changing prospects

In just one week since its approval, Bitcoin ETF has seized the title of the second-largest ETF commodity in the US. It is a good indicator of the ravenous interest in this particular instrument and the overall growing acceptance of Bitcoin as a mainstream investment avenue.

Historically, cryptocurrency investors have faced challenges gaining exposure to digital assets through traditional financial instruments. The introduction of spot Bitcoin ETFs changes this state of things, bringing a newfound level of accessibility and legitimacy to the market. The instrument allows investors to participate in the potential gains of Bitcoin without the complexities and risks associated with direct ownership and storage of the digital asset. This move significantly lowers the entry barriers for institutional and retail investors alike, fostering a more inclusive environment for broader market participation. 

Bitcoin’s selection as the flagship cryptocurrency to use for spot ETFs can be attributed to its pioneering role and widespread recognition within the digital asset space. Its capped supply and growing acceptance as a form of ‘digital gold’ made it a perfect candidate for an ETF. Moreover, BTC’s relatively lower volatility, at least compared to some other cryptocurrencies, adds an element of stability that aligns well with the risk profiles of traditional investors.

The future of Bitcoin is looking relatively bright. As mentioned before, the ETF approval opens doors for a broader investor base, allowing more people and institutions to gain exposure to this asset. Moreover, the SEC’s stamp of approval reinforces Bitcoin’s legitimacy as a recognized and regulated financial asset. And with it, the perception of BTC as a legitimate investment option grows stronger. 

What comes next?

As the crypto ecosystem continues to expand, the ETF approval is poised to bring about substantial changes in the dynamics of investment portfolios and risk management strategies.

First of all, since the management of Bitcoin ETFs is handled by large, well-known companies, it introduces a crucial layer of safety and quality assurance to the cryptocurrency market. The long-standing reputation of these established entities serves to assure investors of a professional and secure management structure owed to a wealth of experience and financial expertise. This assurance is of particular significance for institutional investors or those with substantial capital looking to enter the crypto market, as they no longer have to worry about significant losses if something goes wrong. 

Investors utilizing spot Bitcoin ETFs can rest assured that their involvement in the crypto space will be recognized by regulatory authorities as lawful, significantly reducing the risk of legal repercussions. It serves to instill confidence in large-scale investors and opens the door for increased institutional participation, marking a pivotal moment in the integration of cryptocurrencies into the traditional financial ecosystem.

Do Bitcoin ETFs pose a risk to the freedom of crypto?

Some considerations have been voiced about the centralization risks associated with spot Bitcoin ETFs. While some argue that these instruments contradict the decentralized nature intrinsic to cryptocurrencies, I don’t entirely agree. It is important to remember that, at the end of the day, spot Bitcoin ETFs are a new financial instrument rather than a fundamental deviation from the core principles of digital assets. The availability of ETFs doesn’t alter the core nature of Bitcoin itself; it simply introduces a new investment avenue for those who prefer a more traditional, regulated approach to exposure in the crypto market.

Meanwhile, the accessibility of decentralized cryptocurrencies remains the same as before. Everyone still has the option to directly purchase and hold cryptocurrencies in their wallets, maintaining the true essence of decentralization. 

The only thing that has changed is the increased recognition and support from regulators and major financial institutions.

Huge hype is over, but the instrument remained 

The original surge in Bitcoin’s price following the announcement of the ETF approval once again underscored the market’s keen interest in this financial instrument. However, that positive momentum turned out to be short-lived, as investors decided to take their profits once the ETF trading started and began selling the cryptocurrency.

The precedent set by the current approvals has established a well-defined path and clear criteria for evaluation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Now that there is a track record of positive outcomes, companies venturing into the ETF space can approach the application process with increased confidence.

Impact on the Crypto Market

The approval of the Bitcoin spot exchange-traded fund has far-reaching implications for the entire crypto market. The influx of institutional and retail investors into Bitcoin through ETFs has brought a new wave of liquidity and stability to the market. This increased participation has bolstered Bitcoin’s position as a legitimate asset class, potentially paving the way for further regulatory acceptance and mainstream adoption.

Furthermore, the success of the Bitcoin ETF has spurred a wave of innovation in the crypto industry, with other cryptocurrencies and digital assets vying for similar regulatory approval. This competition for recognition has led to a diversification of investment options in the crypto space, offering investors a broader range of opportunities to explore.

With the growing interest in Bitcoin ETFs, industry experts predict a shift in trading patterns and market dynamics, as well as increased scrutiny from regulatory bodies seeking to ensure compliance and investor protection. This evolving landscape presents both challenges and opportunities for the future development of the crypto market.

Looking Ahead

As the crypto industry continues to evolve, the approval of Bitcoin ETFs represents a pivotal moment in the mainstream adoption of digital assets. The integration of regulated financial instruments like ETFs into the crypto market signifies a maturation of the industry and a step towards wider acceptance by traditional investors and financial institutions.

While the road ahead may present challenges and uncertainties, the potential for growth and innovation in the crypto space remains immense. The rise of Bitcoin ETFs is just the beginning of a new chapter in the ongoing narrative of cryptocurrencies, reshaping the way we perceive and interact with digital assets in the financial landscape.

Adam Berker

Adam Berker

Adam Berker is the senior legal counsel at the global payments platform Mercuryo. Berker has extensive experience providing full legal support to businesses with subsidiaries in four jurisdictions for conducting its activity in the European Union, United Kingdom, United States, Latin America, Africa, and Asia. He is deeply involved in the industry. Adam has prepared an extensive study of the global regulation of cryptocurrency licensing and AML legislation, having made a deep dive into the regulations of 22 countries.

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