Bitcoin prices have been on a wild ride recently. From a high of $65,000 two weeks ago to a low of $47,000 on Monday to $55,000 currently, volatility has been the name of the game for the world’s most popular cryptocurrency.
Yet big moves notwithstanding, the trend for bitcoin has been firmly up. Prices are higher by 90% year-to-date, and a whopping 614% over the past year.
Holding bitcoin has been an enriching experience for thousands of investors; unfortunately, not everyone has had easy access to the digital currency. While almost any U.S. investor can go out and open a Coinbase account to trade bitcoin, not everyone is comfortable doing so. Others may be restricted to buying and selling securities in their traditional brokerage accounts for various reasons.
That’s where a bitcoin ETF would come in handy. Unfortunately, no such bitcoin ETF exists in the U.S. Could that change?
Saga Started 8 Years Ago
It’s been eight years since Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss submitted the first filing for a bitcoin ETF, the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust. But the proposed fund was twice rejected by the Securities and Exchange Commission amid concerns about the risky nature of the nascent cryptocurrency market.
The ETF, which would have traded under the ticker symbol “COIN” (now claimed by crypto platform Coinbase), may be history, but the dream of a U.S.-listed bitcoin ETF never died.
For, in all those years since the Winklevoss filing, investors have been hoping for and anticipating a bitcoin ETF. There is still no guarantee one will actually get approved, but expectations for a successful launch have arguably never been higher.
Why The Time Is Right
There are a few reasons for that. One, the cryptocurrency ecosystem has matured a lot in the past few years. As of this writing, bitcoin has a market capitalization of more than $1.1 trillion; bitcoin futures have traded on the CME for over three years; and many reputable platforms, like PayPal and Fidelity, offer bitcoin trading and/or custody services.