Major Players Optimistic: Bitcoin ETF Approval Nears SEC Green Light

August 24, 2023 6:01 pm Comments

Marathon Digital CEO, Fred Thiel, expresses optimism about the approval of a spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Thiel highlights that major players like BlackRock’s interest in launching Bitcoin ETFs signifies a high likelihood of approval.

Thiel believes that if one Bitcoin ETF is approved, others may follow suit, as the SEC may not favor one over another.

Currently, around half a dozen applications for a spot Bitcoin ETF are under review.

These ETFs would track the price of Bitcoin directly, making it easier for investors to gain exposure to Bitcoin without purchasing and storing the cryptocurrency. reports:

There are currently about half a dozen applications for the launch of a spot Bitcoin ETF, which would track the price of Bitcoin (BTC) directly, rather than following futures contracts or other derivatives.

This would make it easier for investors to get exposure to Bitcoin without having to buy and store the cryptocurrency themselves.

Among the Bitcoin ETF hopefuls are BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager with over $9 trillion in assets under management as of Q2 2023, as well as other prominent players, including Wisdom Tree, VanEck, and Fidelity, among others.

Notable applicants include BlackRock, Wisdom Tree, VanEck, and Fidelity, among others.

Thiel also notes that there’s growing institutional interest in the cryptocurrency market, which indicates that these firms believe approval is feasible.

He references cases like Prometheum’s approval as a Special Purpose Broker-Dealer for digital asset securities by the SEC and Ripple’s partial victory in its lawsuit against the agency as evidence of increased pressure on the SEC from Congress and the need for positive outcomes.

Thiel points out that the SEC’s need for positive outcomes could lead to decisions in favor of crypto-related matters.

He specifically mentions the need to resolve the Coinbase case and suggests that the regulator may want to avoid more negative outcomes following the Ripple case.

CoinTelegraph reports:

“[The ETF application process] puts the SEC in an incredibly powerful position,” said Barton. “Gensler has a great amount of sway in that; the political makeup of the commission definitely influences that.”

As of August, certain analysts have suggested that the chances of a spot Bitcoin ETF being approved in the U.S. are close to 65% based partly on BlackRock’s application.

Both Cathie Wood and Grayscale — the asset manager currently suing the SEC over its ETF application — have hinted that the regulator could approve multiple applications simultaneously to avoid any company having an advantage over another.

The report highlights that the SEC has the authority to delay ETF applications for up to 240 days, with the final deadline for some applications extending into 2024.

The focus on ETFs comes in the context of the SEC’s cautious approach to cryptocurrency regulation, with the regulator currently pursuing enforcement cases against Coinbase, Binance, and Ripple, and facing calls for more clarity and oversight in the crypto space.

While the prospects of a spot Bitcoin ETF’s approval in the U.S. seem positive, the complexities of the crypto market and regulatory landscape add a layer of uncertainty.

The industry anticipates potential multiple approvals simultaneously to avoid competitive advantages among applicants.

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