US regulator approves first bitcoin exchange-traded funds

DThe Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has approved the first U.S.-listed Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs). According to its own information, the authority on Wednesday gave the green light to applications from BlackRock, Arc Investments and 21Shares, Fidelity, Invesco and VanEck. Some products will go on sale on Thursday. SEC Chairman Gary Gensler spoke about the breakthrough for the world's largest cryptocurrency and the broader crypto industry.

The SEC's decision was eagerly awaited. Many asset managers have sought permission to launch spot bitcoin ETFs since 2013. However, the SEC has so far rejected these on the grounds that the products are vulnerable to market manipulation. Last year, 14 companies, including heavyweights like BlackRock and Fidelity, filed applications for spot bitcoin ETFs and are now awaiting a decision from the SEC.

Analysts at British bank Standard Chartered estimate that Bitcoin ETFs will attract $50 billion to $100 billion in investor money this year alone. This could push the price of Bitcoin up to $100,000. Other analysts, however, expect the credits to be closer to $55 billion over five years.

Bitcoin, the world's largest cryptocurrency, was last down 0.8 percent at $45,765. On Tuesday, a false report about the SEC decision sent the crypto industry into turmoil.

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