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Spot Bitcoin ETFs: How to invest and what it means

The SEC has opened up cryptocurrencies to a new crop of investors after approving spot Bitcoin ETFs in a move that will offer more protections for those investing in the asset class.

For the first time ever, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved spot Bitcoin exchange-traded-funds, opening the door for easier access to investing in the largest cryptocurrency by market value and offering investors more protection, among other benefits detailed by SEC Chair Gary Gensler in his announcement on Wednesday.

"These products will be listed and traded on registered national securities exchanges. Such regulated exchanges are required to have rules designed to prevent fraud and manipulation, and we will monitor them closely to ensure that they are enforcing those rules. Furthermore, the Commission will fully investigate any fraud or manipulation in the securities markets, including schemes that use social media platforms" he said. 

There are about 11 ETFs that will likely begin trading, including one from Cathie Wood's ARK Invest. 

"The democratization that we set out to provide our clients democratized access to innovation, both in the public markets, pure play innovation funds. And now with venture in the private markets, Bitcoin is an extension, democratization, access. We think it is going to be one of the most important assets in history," she said during an interview on the "The Claman Countdown" ahead of the SEC's announcement.

A spot Bitcoin ETF will allow investors to efficiently track the price of Bitcoin, in which volatility and swings are not uncommon. Bitcoin is currently trading around $46,000, which is off the 52-week low of $17,474 hit last January but still a far cry from the record high of $67,802.30 hit in November 2021, as tracked by Dow Jones Market Data Group.


Prior to an approved ETF, investors needed to open an account with a crypto exchange like Coinbase or a trading platform such as Robinhood. Now, you can buy the ETF directly through your brokerage account or in a traditional brokerage account. Some investors may still choose to use a Coinbase or Robinhood.

For registered financial advisors and their clients, investing in Bitcoin will also be easier.

"Right now, you do have a lot of retail investors directly investing in Bitcoin. But … obviously, this opens up the field to some of those financial advisers. Who are taking orders from their retail clients, family offices, other institutions. So, it does open up access to a whole field of players in the investment world," Roxanna Islam, head of sector and industry research, at VettaFI told FOX Business.

By approving a swath of spot Bitcoin ETFs, the SEC has opened the flood gates to competition.

"I think, first of all, investors are going to look at fees," Islam said. "I think for a lot of mainstream investors, they will look towards BlackRock because that is a familiar name, but they aren't as big in the crypto world," Islam added.

Prior to the SEC's approval, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink raised the cost factor of crypto.

"What we're trying to do with crypto is make it more democratized with all of crypto and making it much cheaper for investors," Fink said during an interview on "The Claman Countdown" in July.


When Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX imploded, erasing about $1 billion in assets, investors were reminded of the high risks associated with crypto investing. Now, Bitcoin spot ETFs carry more protection if they are registered with the SEC.

"In a liquidation under the Securities Investor Protection Act, SIPC protects customers against the loss of their exchange-traded fund shares, provided that the ETF is registered with the SEC," Securities Investor Protection Corporation President and CEO Josephine Wang told FOX Business. "The limit of protection per customer against the loss of missing securities and related cash is $500,000. Of the $500,000, up to $250,000 can be used to replace missing customer cash," she added.


By comparison, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which protects bank depositors, does not insure crypto or digital assets.


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