On Tuesday, August 29, 2023, Bitcoin once again loomed large over financial markets after the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals vacated an SEC order that rejected Grayscale Investments’ (“Grayscale”) application to list a spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (“ETF”) on NYSE Arca. The price of Bitcoin initially jumped almost seven percent on the news. But as of this writing, the market has erased nearly all those gains.
With the increased prevalence of digital assets, the SEC received numerous applications to list and trade shares of digital assets as ETFs on various exchanges. As the most well-known digital asset, Bitcoin represents the focal point for many of these applications. The key distinction between these applications is whether the ETF is based on the spot or the future market.