Bitcoin has surged above $30,000 for the first time since July 23, following a wave of renewed optimism about the possibility of a spot Bitcoin ETF approval by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
A spot Bitcoin ETF is an exchange-traded fund that tracks the current market price of Bitcoin, rather than futures contracts or stocks of crypto-related companies. Many investors believe that a spot Bitcoin ETF would attract more institutional and retail demand for the leading cryptocurrency, as it would offer a convenient and regulated way to gain exposure to Bitcoin without having to deal with the challenges of custody and security.
Several financial firms have filed or amended their applications for a spot Bitcoin ETF in recent weeks, including BlackRock, Fidelity, Ark Investment Management and Grayscale. These firms are hoping to persuade the SEC that they have adequate measures to prevent fraud and manipulation in the Bitcoin market, such as surveillance-sharing agreements with other exchanges and regulators.
Even the Former SEC Chair says it’s “inevitable”
However, the SEC has not yet approved any spot Bitcoin ETF, despite receiving dozens of applications over the past many years. The agency has repeatedly expressed concerns about the lack of transparency, liquidity and oversight in the Bitcoin market, as well as the potential for market abuse and investor harm.
The SEC has set several deadlines in October and November to make decisions on some of the pending spot Bitcoin ETF applications. However, it is not clear if the agency will finally give its green light or continue to delay or reject the proposals.