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Bitcoin ETFs: A Game-Changer for Crypto Industry and a booster for tokenization

Jan 12, 2024

In a landmark decision, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has approved the first exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in the United States to track bitcoin, marking a significant milestone for the world's largest cryptocurrency and the crypto industry at large. This Wednesday's announcement revealed that 11 applications, including those from major firms like BlackRock and Grayscale, received the green light.

Impact on the tokenization industry

The approval of Bitcoin ETFs by the SEC is poised to have a profound impact on the global asset tokenization industry. The traditional financial world keeps inexorably moving not only towards mass scale use of blockchain but also towards legitimate and regulated investing in cryptocurrencies. The legitimization of the SEC of Bitcoin as an investment vehicle is expected to positively impact the development of the asset tokenization sector, as more investors become comfortable with digital assets.

The tokenization of assets, such as real estate, debt or equity, could benefit significantly from the increased trust and mainstream acceptance brought about by the introduction of Bitcoin ETFs. This development could lead to greater awareness of tokenized assets available in the market, thereby potentially helping transform the global investment landscape. Furthermore, the approval could spur regulatory bodies in other countries to follow suit, possibly leading to a more standardized and globally accepted framework for cryptocurrency and tokenized asset trading.

Bitcoin ETF

What is an ETF?

An ETF is essentially a basket of assets that trades on a stock exchange, similar to well-known stock market ETFs like SPY and IVY, which mirror the S&P 500, a stock index tracking 500 of the largest companies in the U.S. Specifically, these newly approved spot bitcoin (BTC) ETFs (where "spot" indicates actual holding of the assets, rather than relying on artificial versions or derivatives contracts) will accumulate large amounts of bitcoin, allowing investors to buy shares representing a portion of this stack.

One of the key advantages of ETFs, in contrast to mutual funds, is the flexibility they offer. Investors can buy and sell ETF shares throughout the trading day, responding quickly to market changes, as long as there's a market demand for these trades. This is particularly significant in the volatile world of bitcoin, where news headlines can swiftly impact market movements. The fees for these ETFs are set to range from 0.2% to 1.5%, with several providers offering to waive fees for a specific period. 

The path to this approval has been a long one, with companies seeking the SEC’s endorsement since as early as 2013, when Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss first proposed a bitcoin ETF. While bitcoin futures ETFs have previously been approved, they were generally viewed as more suitable for professional-level investors. In contrast, these new spot ETFs are designed as straightforward, accessible crypto funds, usable by anyone with a smartphone.

Proponents of a spot bitcoin ETF have consistently argued that a regulated trading product focusing on bitcoin would enable both institutional and retail clients to engage with bitcoin's price movements without the complexities of setting up wallets or directly investing in the digital asset. With ETF shares available to any U.S. investor with a brokerage account, the potential for broader market participation is significant.

Drawing parallels with the impact of gold ETFs two decades ago, which triggered a substantial rally in gold prices, some experts anticipate a similar effect on bitcoin. Standard Chartered has even projected a doubling of bitcoin’s price to $100,000 this year. The cryptocurrency has already experienced a surge of more than 70% in recent months, partly in anticipation of the ETF approval, reaching its highest level since March 2022 this week.

Entra en la nueva economía tokenizada

Enter the new tokenized economy

Token City is the ultimate bridge to the tokenized economy (tEconomy), in which tokenized companies (tEnterprises) create their cryptoasset markets (tMarkets), open to global investors (tCitizens).

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