Talks between the U.S. SEC and several asset management firms concerning the approval of spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) have now delved into advanced technical details, Reuters reported Dec. 7, citing sources familiar with the matter.
The sources, who asked not to be named but who have knowledge of the proceedings, told the news organization that the regulator will likely greenlight the ETF applications soon.
Insiders cited by the reporting said the talks now focus on specific elements of the ETF framework that typically come late in the process. These include the details of custody arrangements, the mechanisms for creating and redeeming the funds, and comprehensive disclosures about the risks to investors.
The approval of a Bitcoin ETF would facilitate access to the cryptocurrency through a regulated market, which is expected to appeal to investors who are hesitant about the less regulated cryptocurrency space. Industry experts anticipate a strong demand for these products, with projections of up to $3 billion in the initial days following their launch.
Thirteen companies, including notable names like Grayscale Investments, BlackRock, Invesco, and ARK Invest, are eagerly awaiting the SEC’s decision on their applications to launch ETFs that would track the price of Bitcoin.
These firms have been in a holding pattern as the SEC has historically hesitated to approve such products, citing concerns over investor protections. However, the landscape began to shift following a pivotal court decision in August, which held that the SEC was wrong to refuse Grayscale’s request to review its original applications, which the SEC had rejected, citing market manipulation concerns. The court ruled the SEC’s decision was “arbitrary” and ordered that the review process continue. In October, the SEC declined to appeal this decision further, effectively resolving the dispute.
The ruling has seemingly opened the door for more constructive dialogues between the SEC and ETF issuers, according to the sources.
As the world’s largest cryptocurrency, Bitcoin’s inclusion in regulated investment vehicles like ETFs could pave the way for broader acceptance and adoption of digital currencies in the global financial system.
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