ProShares debuts trailblazing bitcoin ETF on NYSE

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TL;DR Breakdown

  • ProShares gets the Security and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) nod to launch a Bitcoin (BTC)-linked exchange-traded fund (ETF). The trailblazing ETF will list on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the $BITO ticker.
  • SEC’s approval falls short of the market that’s pushing for a BTC spot-based ETF. The US is lagging in approving these types of products as other countries make strides.

ProShares has confirmed that it is debuting its much anticipated bitcoin-linked ETF. The trailblazing BTC futures tracking product goes live on the NYSE on Tuesday. It’ll trade under the $BITO ticker. 

Its listing follows the SEC’s approval of ProShare’s application to offer the product. Investors can now access the leading crypto without having to hold it.

Michael L. Sapir, ProShares CEO, says the approval has been a long time coming. He holds that $BITO will expose BTC enthusiasts to the asset within a regulated environment. 

Additionally, they needn’t open new accounts with crypto providers. Instead,  they can use their existing brokerage ones to trade.

The SEC’s nod for the EFT has been in the works for some time. Its chair, Gary Gensler, has previously let on the regulator’s preference for BTC futures ETFs over spot-linked ones. So it isn’t a surprise that ProShares got the green light now. 

ProShares listing falls short of market expectations

Although positive, the move falls short of many BTC enthusiasts’ expectations. A majority of them have been clamoring for BTC spot-based ETFs. But the SEC has been reluctant to approve those citing price manipulation concerns.

This stance has forced some institutional investors to move abroad, searching for more accepting markets. Ark Investments, for instance, has listed a BTC spot tracking ETF in Canada. 

As the US is lagging in approving BTC-linked spot ETFs, other nations are embracing them. Canada and Brazil have allowed the listing of these products in both BTC and ETH. The crypto community is optimistic that the US will follow suit.

ProShares’ approval and listing is a big win for the budding crypto industry. Ian Balana of Token Metrics says it’s the SEC’s most important endorsement of crypto. 

Balana says the move is indicative of regulators ceding ground on their objections over the asset class. To him, this action opens the floodgates of new capital entering the space.

Other firms are lining up for approval

Up to 10 firms have unsuccessfully sought leave to offer spot-based BTC EFTs. The SEC rejected them, though, arguing that they’re prone to manipulation.

Besides ProShares, several other BTC futures are coming up for review this October. These include Van Eck, Valkyrie, and Invesco. Barring the regulator’s objections, they’ll be able to list seventy-five days after completing their paperwork.

Futures-based ETFs allow you to invest in BTC directly. In the contract, you agree to trade the asset in the future at a set price. This ETF doesn’t track the asset’s price rather the asset’s cash settlements.

To analysts, ProShares’ approval sets the pace for the acceptance of spot-based ETFs. Today, the crypto market has significantly advanced since the initial round of applications. 

Bitcoin has responded positively to the development. Following the listing, it appreciated by 2% to close at $62,041.84 on Monday. The market waits to see if it’ll surpass its all-time high of $ 64,800.

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