HomeCryptocurrencyBitcoinBitcoin Spot ETF Approval: A Game-Changer for the Crypto Market

Bitcoin Spot ETF Approval: A Game-Changer for the Crypto Market



The US Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) recent approval of spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) is a game-changer for the global crypto community. It is seen as a validation for crypto and could bring in more investors, including big institutional investors. Before understanding the impact of this move, it is crucial to understand more about Spot Bitcoin ETFs and how they work and impact the crypto sector.

Building a bridge

Spot Bitcoin ETFs are a bridge connecting traditional financial markets to the crypto universe. They mirror the price of bitcoin and enable exposure to the digital asset via conventional stock exchanges. There are two types of Bitcoin ETFs: spot ETFs and futures ETFs. Currently, spot ETFs are more popular due to their straightforward structure and direct connection to the physical Bitcoin.

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Spot bitcoin ETFs differ from derivatives-based ETFs in their structure. Spot ETFs are backed by actual bitcoins held in digital wallets, while derivatives-based ETFs derive their share prices from contracts based on the underlying asset.

Spot Bitcoin ETFs work by having institutional entities manage the ETF, holding actual bitcoins in digital wallets. The ETF issues shares corresponding to the number of bitcoins held, allowing retail investors to gain exposure to bitcoin’s price movements through traditional stock exchanges.

It simplifies buying and selling bitcoins and provides a seamless experience for mainstream investors accustomed to trading traditional stocks or ETFs. The institution managing the ETF is responsible for holding and securing bitcoins, alleviating concerns about individual investors managing their crypto assets.

Spot ETFs may benefit from traditional stock market tax rules, simplifying the tax implications for investors.

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However, it does have a few limitations. Firstly, spot bitcoin ETFs offer exposure only to bitcoin. On the other hand, investors get a wide variety of crypto options on centralized crypto exchanges. Secondly, since the security of Bitcoin custody relies on the institutions managing the ETF, it calls for robust security protocols. Unlike actual crypto exchanges, ETFs require a link between Bitcoin’s price and the issued shares, leading to potential discrepancies and the need for periodic rebalancing.

Finally, taxation laws tend to differ, and investors in countries outside the USA may face additional taxation complexities when trading spot Bitcoin ETFs on US exchanges.

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A spike in institutional funding

The approval of ETFs enables hedge funds and sovereign wealth funds, with their substantial financial firepower, to take center stage in driving the growth of ETFs. Traditionally, institutional investors have approached crypto assets with caution due to regulatory uncertainties and perceived risks. However, with the SEC’s approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs, a new avenue has emerged, offering legitimacy to the entire crypto sector.

The entry of hedge and sovereign wealth funds is significant for several reasons. Firstly, their involvement brings financial sophistication and strategic investment approaches that can contribute to the maturation of the crypto market. These institutional players are known for their ability to conduct in-depth market analysis, manage risk effectively, and deploy large-scale investment strategies.

Moreover, institutional participation is expected to bring higher liquidity to the market. Liquidity is a crucial factor in any financial market, and the increased involvement of institutional investors can lead to a more liquid and efficient trading environment for crypto.

The anticipated boost in liquidity is tied to the potential for increased market stability. Institutional investors could act as a stabilizing force with their long-term investment perspectives, mitigating some short-term price swings that characterize the crypto space.

Additionally, crypto is inherently borderless, and the impact of regulatory decisions in one country can have a positive impact across the global market. The approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs by a prominent regulatory body like the SEC continues to have a positive ripple effect, influencing global market sentiments.

The impact in India

The approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs in the US has raised hopes and sparked discussions within the Indian crypto ecosystem. Indian investors, who have faced challenges such as regulatory uncertainties, taxation complexities, and a prolonged crypto winter, see the SEC’s decision as a positive development.

However, challenges remain, and the crypto ecosystem is awaiting robust regulations. Although the taxation rules for virtual digital assets (VDAs) have been introduced in India, concerns remain, especially regarding the 1% TDS (Tax Deducted at Source) and a high capital gains tax. A reduction in capital gains tax and TDS will encourage more retail investors to venture into the crypto market.

Industry experts are optimistic about recent developments and we are already seeing a resurgence of investors in the Indian crypto market.

The SEC’s approval is a pivotal milestone in crypto evolution and will offer unprecedented opportunities for retail and institutional investors. For the Indian crypto sector, the way forward requires navigation through regulatory challenges and meticulous addressing of taxation concerns. The optimism sparked by the SEC’s decision has spurred meaningful discussions within the ecosystem, and one hopes substantial positive developments are on the horizon. As the crypto landscape transforms, spot Bitcoin ETFs can be the potent catalyst for the broader acceptance and seamless integration of crypto assets into traditional financial markets globally.


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Raj Karkara
Raj Karkara
Raj Karkara, COO, ZebPay

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