US financial regulators approved yesterday the creation of exchange-traded funds based on bitcoin, a move that allows mainstream investors to invest in the cryptocurrency via their regular brokerage accounts. The decision is expected to significantly increase the number of investors holding bitcoin.
The financial vehicles are known as spot bitcoin ETFs (see overview)—the investor purchases shares in the ETF, which in turn directly holds bitcoins as the underlying asset. Such funds tracking, for example, the S&P 500, Nasdaq, and many other assets, have long been available. A spot bitcoin ETF is expected to generally track the movement of bitcoin's value without requiring the investor to directly buy bitcoin.
The widely expected approval came one day after the Securities and Exchange Commission's account on X (formerly Twitter) was hacked, purporting to make the announcement early.
One bitcoin is roughly equal to $46,600 as of this writing (see current price).