2021 will be remembered as a turning point for the cryptocurrency industry in the US as its regulators began to embrace and accept cryptocurrencies – indicating that they are here to stay.
After years of waiting and hoping by potential sponsors, Bitcoin investing is finally open to everyone with the implicit approval of US regulators of a Bitcoin futures exchange-traded fund (ETF), marking a milestone for the industry.
Last Friday, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved the first Bitcoin ETF after five commissioners met on the issue.
ProShares – which filed for its Bitcoin strategy ETF recently – will launch this week and start trading this Tuesday, Eastern time. The much-anticipated ProShares Bitcoin futures ETF will track the Bitcoin futures market on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker, ‘BITO.’
According to ProShares, the ETF will offer investors “an opportunity to gain exposure to Bitcoin returns in a convenient, liquid and transparent way. The fund seeks to provide capital appreciation primarily through managed exposure to Bitcoin futures contracts.”
The approval of the Bitcoin futures ETF will undoubtedly make access more available to people who are interested in investing in Bitcoin but who do not currently desire to go through the learning curve of opening a Bitcoin brokerage account.
The ETC is also for consumers who are worried about the regulation around cryptocurrencies. In other words, the ETF will be an alternative way for investors to follow the price of Bitcoin in a highly regulated manner by tracking Bitcoin futures instead of the price of the digital asset directly.
The approval of the new ETF product clearly excited investors with the price of Bitcoin reaching over $62,041.84 on Monday, according to Coin Metrics – demonstrating that the acceleration of the adoption of Bitcoin can increase demand by users of the cryptocurrency.
It is an encouraging sign for the future of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to see US authorities fairly regulate the industry to help investors gain more exposure to the growing and fascinating industry.
I personally believe the approval of the launch of the Bitcoin futures ETF is the biggest endorsement this year from the SEC for the acceptance of Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency industry as a whole.
It is also exciting that the SEC is considering additional proposals by asset managers VanEck and Valkyrie Investments to sell their own versions of Bitcoin future ETFs to investors – meaning that by the end of this year, global investors may have access to various Bitcoin future ETFs, providing them with more choices to select the ideal financial instrument for them.
I believe the debut of the Bitcoin future ETFs on the Nasdaq will open the doors to a wave of similar products that will win regulatory approval and accelerate investment into the decentralized finance industry, including spot Bitcoin ETFs that directly hold the digital asset.
The news also means that the US government is increasing Bitcoin’s legitimacy and taking a sustainable approach in incorporating blockchain technologies and cryptocurrencies into its financial system – creating a paralleled financial system that both complement and build each other.
This will also be a clear signal to other countries that are looking for some direction on how to regulate the decentralized finance industry.
I believe the US is embracing blockchain technologies and cryptocurrencies by striking the right balance of regulation and freedom – ensuring that the digital asset space is safe and secure, yet continues to grow and create new opportunities for everyone involved in the industry.
The US is positioning itself on a path to build a healthy, sustainable and leading cryptocurrency industry. The fact that the US has overtaken China to account for the largest share of the world’s Bitcoin mining – coupled with the country’s regulators working with the cryptocurrency sector to protect Americans – the North American country has given itself the unique chance to become the forefront leader and innovator in the global decentralized finance industry, just as it has done in many other leading industries such as biotechnology, aeronautics and internet technologies.
There is no doubt that 2021 has been possibly the most exciting year for the cryptocurrency industry since Satoshi Nakamoto made history when he released the Genesis Block on January 3, 2009.
I was excited to hear earlier this month that SEC chair Gary Gensler said he would not ban crypto – essentially saying that it would be up to Congress to take action against it if they choose. El Salvador made Bitcoin legal tender , with Ukraine , Panama and other countries also making big moves in accepting and embracing Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.
2022 may have many more delightful surprises for the cryptocurrency industry. With the speed things are moving in 2021, it wouldn’t surprise me if US regulators usher in a new and creative era in the cryptocurrency sector within the next year.
Raymond Hsu is the co-founder and CEO for Cabital, a leading cryptocurrency wealth management platform. Raymond’s mission is to help empower people from all walks of life to generate high-yield passive income from their digital assets and create a more sustainable financial industry. Prior to co-founding Cabital in 2020, Raymond worked for fintech and traditional banking institutions including Citibank, Standard Chartered Bank, eBay and Airwallex.
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