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The SEC has initiated the acknowledgment process for spot bitcoin ETF applications. This sets the stage for the potential acceptance of the first such funds in the United States.
The SEC has begun acknowledging these spot bitcoin ETF applications. ETF Research Analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence James Seyffart first noticed the move and took it to Twitter.
UPDATE: There they are — SEC just acknowledged the #Bitcoin ETF applications for @BlackRock, @vaneck_us, @InvescoUS/@GalaxyDigital, @Fidelity, & @WisdomTreeFunds. We’re off to the races.Keep in mind @ARKInvest/@21Shares already beyond this point. @BitwiseInvest was yesterday. https://t.co/X1PrRzJJdr pic.twitter.com/7F4yx4Jmdp— James Seyffart (@JSeyff) July 14, 2023
The acknowledgment of applications included those from BlackRock, Fidelity, WisdomTree Funds, Invesco US, and VanEck. The list is published on the Nasdaq Stock Market LLC (NASDAQ) rulemaking page.
In addition, Galaxy Digital, ARK Investment, and BitWise applications have also received nods of acknowledgment from the SEC. However, this step in the application process, while integral, doesn’t necessarily predict approval or rejection.
Despite the flurry of activity, the SEC has not yet given the green light to create a spot bitcoin ETF, causing concerns about the potential fate of these applications.
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Nevertheless, many applicants remain optimistic, bolstered by the inclusion of surveillance-sharing agreements aimed at combating market manipulation, a focal point for the SEC. These agreements, they hope, might sway the SEC towards approval, despite its previous reluctance.
In this context, the recent acknowledgments by the SEC signal that the decision-making process has officially started. All eyes are on how the agency responds to these applications, especially since this could pave the way for approving the first-ever spot bitcoin ETF in the United States.
Bitcoin ETFs: a brief story
Bitcoin ETFs have had a significant and intriguing journey in the United States. The concept of a bitcoin ETF first emerged in 2013 when the Winklevoss twins, founders of the Gemini cryptocurrency exchange, applied with the SEC to launch a bitcoin ETF called the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust. However, their initial proposal faced rejection in 2017 and regulatory hurdles due to concerns over market manipulation, liquidity, and custody of the underlying assets.
The first significant breakthrough came in 2021 when Canada approved the launch of the Purpose Bitcoin ETF, becoming the first country to have such an asset. This move sparked renewed interest and raised expectations among investors and industry participants in the United States. It also pressured the SEC to reconsider its stance on bitcoin ETFs. Since then, several asset management firms, including VanEck, Fidelity, and Bitwise, have submitted bitcoin ETF applications to the SEC, hoping for approval.
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