By: Malcom Giles
Recent filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) may soon provide investors the opportunity to gain exposure to bitcoin without needing to custody the digital asset, allowing investors to execute trades through their existing brokers. A New York-based investment firm, Skybridge Capital, joined several other companies in filing for bitcoin ETFs in recent months. Several major financial services firms submitted applications in the hopes of offering bitcoin ETFs, including Morgan Stanley, Fidelity, and VanEck. While many of these firms filed to offer the ETFs, none completed the process by filing the requisite 19b-4 form needed to kick off the SEC review process until recently. The investment management company Van Eck Global recently filed the 19b-4 form, which kicks off a 45-day review period where the SEC has to decide whether to approve the application. If the SEC approves the ETF application, investors would be able to participate in this new digital asset class without having to endure the process of setting up digital wallets or transferring portions of their investment portfolios onto complicated crypto exchanges. Theoretically, if approved, investors could buy and sell bitcoin investments much like traditional stocks.