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Bitcoin Spot ETFs Approved: When Will They Start Trading?

Last Updated January 11, 2024 9:42 AM
James Morales
Last Updated January 11, 2024 9:42 AM

Key Takeaways

  • The SEC has approved 11 applications to list spot Bitcoin Exchange Traded Funds.
  • Asset managers have declared their intention to launch the new funds as soon as possible.
  • However, considering that ETFs often hit the market several days after SEC approval, getting all 11 ready for trading before markets open on Thursday could be a tall order.

With just minutes to spare before the end of the business day, the Securities and Exchange Commission finally announced its decision to approve 11 applications to list spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) on Wednesday, January 10. 

It can sometimes take a week or more for ETFs to go live after receiving permission from the SEC. But this time, asset managers are prepared to launch some of the most hotly anticipated new investment funds in American history as soon as possible

Advanced Preparations to Pay off in Race to Launch Bitcoin ETFs

Among the asset managers that have been granted permission to list spot Bitcoin ETFs, some have confidently asserted that they will be ready to trade on Thursday. 

In a celebratory tweet, VanEck CEO Jan van Eck said that “many Bitcoin ETFs are coming to market tomorrow.” Implying a readiness to hit the ground running, van Eck boasted that his firm had lined up $72 million of seed capital to get the new fund rolling.

Ark Invest, whose ETF is co-sponsored by 21Shares, appeared to be equally confident of its ability to launch this week. The firm’s official X account declared that  “$ARKB is approved and launching 1/11/24,” with CEO Cathie Wood expected to host a live stream at 10:00 am Eastern Time, half an hour after the opening of the New York Stock Exchange.

Noting that paperwork for each of the approved ETFs was finalized within an hour of the SEC’s announcement on Wednesday, Bloomberg analyst James Seyffart concluded  that “these things will indeed begin trading tomorrow. There are no more steps needed.”

But Seyffart could be counting his chickens before they’ve hatched. 

Although all 11 approved ETFs have completed the necessary SEC filings, there are also important operational factors that need to be attended to.

Ahead of Wednesday’s approval, the co-founder and CIO of Valkyrie Investments Steven McClurg cautioned that  “one or two [asset managers] might not get off the ground on day one, just because there is a lot of work to be put in.”

“I know that my team worked all through the Christmas holidays and over the last week, too, to be sure we’re ready to go,” he added. 

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