A change of heart seems to be transpiring among key players in crypto regulatory circles. Recently, former chairman of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Jay Clayton, vocalized his endorsement for a spot Bitcoin Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) during a discussion on CNBC TV. It might come as a surprise for some as Clayton was one to hold a skeptical attitude towards the Bitcoin trading markets during his tenure at the SEC.
Nevertheless, Clayton acknowledges that Bitcoin trading atmosphere “definitely” evolved, citing increased retail participation worldwide. It also stands to reason how reputable institutions trust these fiduciary obligations, and intend to manage a product like the spot Bitcoin ETF.
For context, the difference between a Bitcoin futures ETF and spot Bitcoin ETF should be noted. The former is established on future Bitcoin contracts traded on commodity exchanges, whereas the latter tracks Bitcoin’s real-time price. Notably, Bitcoin futures ETF is already trading in the U.S., but Clayton suggests their inefficiency, leaving room for a spot Bitcoin ETF.
This does invite thoughts of a potential rally, similar to when Bitcoin ETF applications by credible financial institutions in June caused a drastic upturn for Bitcoin, from a multi-month low in the mid-$20,000s to about $32,000. Now, sentiments are optimistic regarding the approval of these applications but the market also appears to be in a state of wait-and-see; likely due to anticipations for the SEC’s regulation enforcements.
This projection of a spot Bitcoin ETF’s entry has significant implications. A spot ETF would be a gateway for substantial institutional funds lying dormant. It would offer funds managers a way to grant their clients direct Bitcoin access without engaging with intricate web3 aspects such as handling exchanges and web3 wallets. Moreover, this could also serve as a PR drive for Bitcoin itself.
Nonetheless, it’s fair to be mindful of potential short-term drawbacks. If this year’s rally encounters some profit-taking, Bitcoin prices might fall towards the $25,000 mark. But one must remember that such drawbacks are often fleeting.
With a positive hope for Bitcoin ETF approvals around late 2023 to 2024, federal rate cuts expected in 2024, and a probable rise in regulatory lucidity alongside the 2024 Bitcoin halving, a dip in prices in the near future may provide a substantial investment opportunity.