Here's what will happen if U.S. regulators approve Bitcoin futures

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Here's what will happen if U.S. regulators approve Bitcoin futures

Optimism is sky-high in the $6.7 trillion exchange traded fund industry that after almost a decade, the first US Bitcoin auction could begin trading next week.

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None What the Front Line of Bitcoin jumped around $1,000 within minutes in late afternoon trading after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission tweeted an advisory about investing in funds that hold Bitcoin futures.

In the past week, crypto fund BlockFi Inc. and Cathie Wood's Ark Investment Management have put their names on applications for futures-backed Bitcoin ETFs, a structure that Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler has hinted that he would be open to. Meanwhile, Valkyrie Investments updated the futures-backed ETF prospectus with the ticker BTF on Wednesday - typically a sign that an issuer is nearing launch according to Bloomberg Intelligence s Eric Balchunas.

The drama centers on Proshares, given that the SEC's deadline to approve or reject the issuer's futures filing under the Investment Company Act of 1940 - a route that offers higher investor protection - expires on Monday. While the ETF industry had watched the SEC on numerous applications since the Gemini Trust Co. filed the first in 2013, Gensler s own words suggest this time is different, Gilchunas said. In August, the CME-traded head of the SEC signaled he d favor funds based on FTC cryptocurrency futures - a stance that he reiterated late last month.

At the end of the day, really the strongest piece of evidence is Gensler's own words. He literally told them what to do, Balchunas said. Should the US regulators give the green light, four futures backed Bitcoin ETFs could begin trading on U.S. exchanges this month, with deadlines for applications from Invesco Ltd. VanEck and Valkyrie approaching. Meanwhile dozens of cryptocurrency exchange products have been launched in Europe and in Canada.

What speculation surrounding a possible U.S. launch has fueled a torrent rebound in Bitcoin, with the world s largest cryptocurrency breaking above $58,000 for the first time since May this week. Bitcoin has grown by over 90% since breaking below $30,000 in late July.

Of course, it s far from certain that the current round of speculation is anything more than wishful thinking. It s roughly a 25% chance that the SEC delays a decision next week, Balchunas said. And while investors are absolutely hopeful, there s no way to know what regulatory agencies are thinking, according to Morningstar Inc.

Issuers are desperately trying to do everything that they can to be the first, or among the first out of the gate. This is an interesting old-fashioned asset grab, said Ben Johnson, director of global research at Morningstar. The only thing I think we can say for sure is that they re an indication of where these issuers think SEC may be leaning on. None Jane Fraser Has a plan to revive Citigroup while criticizing Rivals.

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