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  • Financial giants like BlackRock, Fidelity, and Invesco are poised to enter the spot-Bitcoin ETF market, with projections estimating a potential growth to a $100 billion market.
  • Established financial institutions, including Galaxy Digital and Invesco, are actively engaging with investment professionals ahead of the Bitcoin ETF debut, conducting educational initiatives and discussions.

In a major development for the crypto market, Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are poised to receive approval from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) by mid-January. The move is expected to open up digital currency investing to both institutional and retail investors, marking a pivotal moment in the cryptocurrency landscape.

The imminent regulatory shift is driving a surge in enthusiasm for Bitcoin, with expectations that wealth managers and financial advisers will allocate a portion of their portfolios to cryptocurrency. Prominent financial institutions like BlackRock, Fidelity, and Invesco are set to enter the spot-Bitcoin ETF market, potentially transforming it into a $100 billion market, according to Bloomberg Intelligence.

As the SEC moves towards approving Bitcoin ETFs, established financial players are preparing for the anticipated debut. Summit Wealth, a firm managing approximately $550 million, has reported increased investor interest, foreseeing substantial institutional-level engagement once the SEC gives its approval.

Galaxy Digital Holdings Ltd., collaborating with Invesco Ltd. on an application, conducted a call with approximately 300 investment professionals earlier this month, discussing Bitcoin allocation as the ETF launch approaches, as confirmed by an insider. Jeff Janson, a wealth adviser at Summit Wealth in Naples, Florida, is among those preparing for the debut, having received inquiries from both young and seasoned investors. Janson said:

“I feel like we are now staring down the gun barrel of the SEC finally delivering approval. And my belief is that once you have access to it in that type of a wrapper, I think you’re going to have a significant amount of institutional-level interest.”

Some Investors Remain Skeptical

However, not everyone is convinced of a seamless transition. Lingering effects from the FTX implosion in 2022 continue to impact investor sentiment, and concerns about potential scams, false claims, and a generally sham-laced past persist in the crypto industry.

The real game-changer could be the incentives built into the money-management industry. Currently, only futures-based Bitcoin ETFs are available, and direct investment in Bitcoin via platforms like Coinbase incurs additional costs. The advent of a Bitcoin ETF, denoted by tickers like IBTC and BTCO, is expected to simplify trading, attracting both millennial and high-net-worth investors.

Financial advisers such as Chuck Cumello of Essex Financial Services in Connecticut anticipate a significant shift in the ease of trading and supervision of crypto investments with the introduction of ETFs. The forthcoming ETFs are likely to target institutional and advisory markets, as suggested by their tickers.

As the industry awaits regulatory approval, financial advisers like Chris Swanson and James Weber of Compass Financial Advisors are strategizing to reallocate existing crypto bets, such as those in Bitwise’s Crypto Industry Innovators ETF, into the Bitcoin ETFs once available.

While cautionary voices, like Laila Pence of Pence Wealth Management, warn about potential risks and note diminished interest among younger clients, crypto enthusiasts believe that Bitcoin ETFs will bring normalization to the asset class. Coinbase, a leading cryptocurrency exchange, emphasizes that the transparency and liquidity offered by ETFs could pave the way for institutional participation and reshape the market in unprecedented ways, despite acknowledging that the process may take time to unfold.

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