SEC approves bitcoin ETFs (for real this time)

The Securities and Exchange Commission has approved the applications of 11 spot bitcoin ETFs in a highly anticipated decision that will make it much easier for people to dabble in cryptocurrency investing without directly buying and holding bitcoin. The approval comes one day after a hacker temporarily took over the SEC’s X account and posted a rogue tweet saying that bitcoin ETFs had been approved by the regulator.

The approval is a significant milestone for crypto investors, who for years have tried to win SEC approval for the investment funds that hold bitcoin. With the approval, 11 such funds will be listed on public stock exchanges.

United States financial regulators have long been wary of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies and in a statement, SEC Chair Gary Gensler wasn’t exactly effusive about the merits of bitcoin. “Bitcoin is primarily a speculative, volatile asset that’s also used for illicit activity including ransomware, money laundering, sanction evasion, and terrorist financing,” he wrote.

“While we approved the listing and trading of certain spot bitcoin ETP shares today, we did not approve or endorse bitcoin. Investors should remain cautious about the myriad risks associated with bitcoin and products whose value is tied to crypto.”

Gensler may have more reasons than usual to be circumspect. On Tuesday, one day before the SEC’s decision on bitcoin ETFs was due, the SEC’s official X account was hacked. The attackers posted a rogue tweet claiming the funds had been approved, causing a temporary spike in the price of bitcoin. The SEC has said it’s working with the FBI and Inspector General to investigate the matter.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at 

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