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Bitcoin ETFs approved: opening the door to institutional adoption

Jan 11, 2024

xPortal Team

A holo magnifying glass zooming in on a piece of news about the SEC approving 11 spot Bitcoin ETFs

If you have even the slightest exposure to, or interest in crypto whatsoever, chances are you’re up to speed with the attention and anticipation built up around Bitcoin ETFs during the last few days.

Just in case the news didn’t reach you by now, here it is: As of yesterday, the SEC announced approving 11 Bitcoin ETF applications filed by some of the largest financial firms in the world, marking a pivotal moment in the history of digital currencies.

If you’re thinking “Wow, that’s amazing, but what’s an ETF and why should I care?” don’t worry, we’re here to break everything down for you.

First things first. ETFs stand for Exchange-Traded Funds and represent baskets of multiple assets, divided into shares that can be traded on the open market. The SEC announcement now clears the way for the first US-listed exchange traded funds (ETF) to track bitcoin.

As opposed to buying and managing Bitcoin yourself, when investing in a Bitcoin ETF you don’t have to deal with any of the intricacies directly associated with crypto investments.. No wallet, no secret phrase, no crypto exchanges, no nothing. You take advantage of Bitcoin’s price swings as if you were owning Bitcoin, without actually owning Bitcoin.

This makes ETFs the perfect tool for institutional and retail investors, mainly because they are regulated and can be accessed through traditional investment channels, and, secondly, because there’s zero hassle required.

What this means in plain English is that for the first time ever hedge funds, insurance companies, endowments and foundations, family offices, wealth advisors, retail funds, VC firms, banks, and other financial institutions will be able to have Bitcoin exposure seamlessly. 

Before you start redirecting your incomes into Bitcoin ETFs yourself there are a few things you should know. Unlike non-custodial wallets where all the buying and managing is done by you, Bitcoin ETFs are handled by custodians, which involves management fees. Perhaps even more important is that while crypto markets know no breaks, be it Thanksgiving or Christmas, ETFs adhere to stock exchange schedules. This means no trading over nights and weekends.

Now if you’re a crypto enthusiast like us, you’re obviously very excited about the idea of being your own bank, and xPortal and other wallets alike are your solution of choice. So you might be tempted to think that this changes nothing for you. You’d be only half right. 

While on the surface this might change nothing for you and how, where and what you invest in, in the grander scheme of things it changes everything, opening the door to what every crypto enthusiast was essentially rooting for - adoption. And in crypto’s brief history there has never been a larger adoption catalyst as this.