Chainalysis, Fireblocks, XBTO comment on spot bitcoin ETF approval

U.S. regulatory authorities have granted approval for Bitcoin ETFs, expanding accessibility to the primary cryptocurrency. On Wednesday, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) officially approved the 19b-4 filings submitted by the New York Stock Exchange, Nasdaq, and Cboe Global Markets.

This approval allows these markets to list and facilitate trading in the securities, with trading expected to commence as early as Thursday. The 22-page document was initially posted on the regulator’s website before 4 p.m. ET (21:00 UTC), briefly disappearing and then reappearing, causing some confusion.

After much anticipation, the spot Bitcoin ETF has finally been approved by the SEC. Below are insight from industry leaders Chainalysis, Fireblocks and XBTO on how this will impact both the TradFi and digital asset industries.

 Philippe Bekhazi, Founder & CEO at XBTO Global, said:

“This is undoubtedly a significant moment for the industry, but given the pressure the SEC has faced from the courts and the U.S. House Financial Services Committee, it was only a matter of time before a spot bitcoin ETF application finally got the green light. Additionally, the SEC’s recent meetings with interested parties and the subsequent edits to the active applications may indicate that the regulatory body is changing tact from rejecting to reforming the digital asset space. Whatever the case, it looks like the SEC and US may finally be skating towards where the puck is headed.

“This approval will, for the first time, open up new possibilities for a number of sovereign, pension funds, IRAs and 401k as well as other institutions who, before this point, may not have had access to digital asset investment opportunities. Whether we will see bitcoin usage massively peak immediately remains to be seen, but this is definitely a big step forward for the institutional adoption of crypto.”

Stephen Richardson, Managing Director of Financial Markets at Fireblocks, said:

“The introduction of the spot Bitcoin ETF puts much needed wind in the digital assets industry’s sails, providing both retail and institutional investors with exposure to this asset class without the complexity of acquiring the underlying asset, and making digital assets more accessible for mainstream investors. There has long been a push and pull over natively digital assets being viable forms of investment, so this nod of approval by financial regulators will pave the way for increased awareness of, and investment in, this asset class more widely.

“I think the SEC has always wanted digital assets to operate under the auspices of trusted and regulated financial institutions, especially if the asset class grew exponentially. An example is Fidelity who launched its digital assets arm in October 2018 to provide digital asset brokerage services to their retail customers, including offering exposure to crypto via retirement accounts. However, I believe the approval of the spot bitcoin ETF will likely have little to no impact on the SEC doubling down on DeFi and centralized exchanges whom they believe are not complying with existing securities laws.”

 Jeff Billingham, Director of Strategy Initiatives at Chainalysis, said:

“The approval of Bitcoin ETFs marks a pivotal moment, ushering in a regulated avenue for institutional participation — from independent broker dealers to bank wealth divisions and RIAs — in the crypto asset class.

“The long-term impact of spot Bitcoin ETFs extends beyond immediate price action. Their approval is a turning point for a rapidly maturing, institutional crypto market. These regulated avenues provide access for investors of all sizes and will foster a more secure market over the next three, five, and ten years.

“These ETFs will introduce a stabilizing influence to a historically volatile crypto market and encourage the development of vigorous risk management and trade infrastructure on par with other mature asset classes.

“At Chainalysis, our focus remains on building trust in blockchains, and that extends to blockchain-based financial products like spot Bitcoin ETFs, and we’re excited to assist businesses and financial institutions in navigating this new landscape with confidence.”