A Guide For Beginners To Comprehend Bitcoin ETFs

Mar. 31, 2023
A Guide For Beginners To Comprehend Bitcoin ETFs

Bitcoin is increasingly establishing its position as a credible investment asset accessible to many investors. However, certain institutions and individuals can only engage in highly regulated investment activities, thus limiting their participation in Bitcoin investments. An ETF for Bitcoin trading could resolve this issue by allowing such investors to engage in the market.

Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) for bitcoin are assemblages of bitcoin-related assets that brokerage companies offer on traditional exchanges. This enables conventional investors to gain exposure to bitcoin without directly possessing any BTC. In Canada and the US, existing Bitcoin ETFs contribute to investors’ wider acceptance of cryptocurrencies. It’s worth examining what exactly an ETF is and the implications it holds for Bitcoin.


Both the Bitcoin (BTC) and broader cryptocurrency markets have advanced significantly. Only a few enthusiasts employed this technology just a decade ago, and two pizzas cost 10,000 BTC. Looking ahead a few years, we’ve witnessed various businesses emerging from the cryptocurrency industry, along with numerous cryptocurrency projects, the inception of DeFi, and other notable developments. Furthermore, institutional adoption has skyrocketed, with MicroStrategy converting over $2 billion of its balance sheet into Bitcoin.

Buying the latest Tesla with Bitcoin may be on the horizon. What essential elements must be implemented for Bitcoin to become a significant asset in the worldwide macroeconomic setting? One crucial aspect is implementing a regulatory framework, which could broaden the exposure of BTC to institutional and mainstream investors. The proposer has suggested that the most effective strategy for attaining this objective is to propose a Bitcoin ETF.

Understanding The Concept Of  A Bitcoin ETF

Let me give you a quick outline to start. The value of a major asset is monitored through investment funds, often known as exchange-traded funds. Many different markets and asset classes offer ETFs. Many years have seen investors using gold ETFs, which track the price of gold. A Bitcoin ETF is merely an exchange-traded fund comprising bitcoin or assets with a price correlation to bitcoin.

As ETFs are regulated financial entities, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency ETFs trade on traditional markets like the NASDAQ or New York Stock Exchange rather than on cryptocurrency exchanges (NYSE). However, this might alter as the distinctions between traditional finance and the bitcoin industry blur. Bitcoin ETFs aim to provide a familiar financial instrument for traditional investors with reservations about cryptocurrency trading, enabling them to gain exposure to Bitcoin.

Advantages Of  Bitcoin ETFs


Investing in a Bitcoin ETF provides a way to access the virtual currency’s price without the need to acquire knowledge about its workings, register for a cryptocurrency exchange, or assume the inherent risks associated with holding Bitcoin directly.


An ETF portfolio typically comprises a range of assets. Should a Bitcoin ETF be created, it could potentially compromise Bitcoin and other investments, such as Apple and Facebook equities.Investors can lower their risk exposure by diversifying their assets. Also, the availability of a regulated Bitcoin ETF on a significant exchange would enable investors to diversify their equities portfolio further.

Tax Efficiency

As Bitcoin is decentralized and lacks regulation, most tax havens and pension funds worldwide do not permit buying Bitcoin. In contrast, a Bitcoin ETF that trades on conventional exchanges would be subject to SEC regulations and qualify for tax efficiency.

Disadvantages Of Bitcoin ETFs

Management Fees

Investors who own a large number of shares in a Bitcoin ETF may face considerable management fees over time, as these funds often charge such fees in exchange for the convenience they provide.

ETF Inaccuracy

ETFs have the ability to contain a varied assortment of assets, despite their primary function of monitoring the value of an underlying asset. The exchange-traded fund’s value may not adequately represent a 50% increase in the price of Bitcoin, despite its other assets. Hence, even while an ETF gives Bitcoin’s price leverage, it may or may not be a good indicator of its price.

Limits To Cryptocurrency Trading

It would be prohibited for a Bitcoin ETF, which acts as an investment fund that tracks the price of Bitcoin, to trade other cryptocurrencies.

Lack Of Bitcoin Ownership

Monetary authorities, stocks, and fiat money cannot insure against Bitcoin’s use. Due to its decentralized nature, Bitcoin provides a way to reduce financial system vulnerabilities. The Bitcoin blockchain guarantees privacy and protects investors and users. However, if the government manages a Bitcoin ETF, it would lose these benefits.

Existence Of Bitcoin ETFs: A Reality?

The growing popularity of Bitcoin ETFs results from increased demand for cryptocurrencies. One example of a Bitcoin ETF traded on the NYSE Arca is the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITO). However, the SEC has blocked the approval of several Bitcoin ETF applications because the market is unregulated.

Bitcoin ETFs Use Futures

Most Bitcoin ETFs replicate the performance of the cryptocurrency by utilizing futures. Investing in cryptocurrency and blockchain companies is another option for obtaining exposure to Bitcoin without actually buying it, as these companies offer leverage to the crypto market.

The Impact Of  A Bitcoin ETF On Institutional Investors

Handling Bitcoin can be quite difficult, particularly for large institutions. For example, custody can cause them a lot of stress. Institutions like Goldman Sachs need a complex regulatory framework and financial infrastructure to participate in this market, unlike individual investors who can easily move Bitcoin by connecting a hardware wallet to a laptop. Large financial institutions must navigate more intricate restrictions and don’t function like regular investors.

An ETF can play a vital role in promoting adoption and broadening the scope of potential investors because it provides price exposure to traditional market players without requiring them to deal with the technicalities of owning actual coins. Investors could gain diversification benefits from a Bitcoin ETF that can incorporate various assets, such as gold, Tesla stock, and Ethereum, alongside Bitcoin.

The Evolution Of Bitcoin ETFs: A Global Perspective

Exchange-traded funds for bitcoin are gaining more and more attention from investors worldwide (ETFs). Currently trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol BTCC is the Purpose Bitcoin ETF, the first bitcoin ETF. Various foreign regions offer similar ETFs, despite US regulators receiving much attention regarding their perception of bitcoin ETFs.

US Regulators’ Changing Stance On Bitcoin ETFs

The US Securities and Exchange Commission has already denied the bulk of Bitcoin ETF applications due to concerns about market manipulation and volatility (SEC). However, the SEC approved listing the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITO) on the NYSE in October 2021, signaling a shift in stance.

The Maturation Of Bitcoin Markets

The infrastructure and liquidity for large investments in Bitcoin have improved significantly in recent years. This maturation of the Bitcoin markets has made it easier for institutions to invest in the asset class. The emergence of such developments is instrumental in bringing about a shift in regulators’ attitudes toward Bitcoin ETFs.

Understanding Bitcoin Futures ETFs

Bitcoin ETFs, such as BITO, do not necessarily rely on holding BTC in wallets as their underlying assets, referred to as Bitcoin physical ETFs. Instead, they may use BTC futures contracts as their underlying assets, distinguishing them from other Bitcoin ETFs.

The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) recognizes its futures ETFs linked to Bitcoin futures as reputable financial instruments. The SEC has thus far indicated a preference for these futures ETFs. Instead of using the spot price to set its pricing, a Bitcoin futures ETF uses the CME’s Bitcoin Reference Rate (BRR). Hence, the only difference between a Bitcoin physical ETF and a Bitcoin futures ETF is where their pricing data comes from.

Bitcoin ETF Investment: Is It Right For You?

If you aim to protect your savings from fiat currency depreciation, purchasing Bitcoin directly might be more advantageous than investing in a Bitcoin ETF. Thus, consider whether a Bitcoin ETF suits your demands for bitcoin investment.

Individuals vary in their interpretation of Bitcoin’s significance, although its purpose is to bring about economic democracy. Nevertheless, personally controlling your savings can be a potent force. In addition, there are numerous opportunities to generate income and interest or obtain loans using Bitcoin.

Investing in a Bitcoin ETF has advantages, but ultimately it comes down to how well those advantages meet your financial objectives. An ETF can be a good choice if the benefits appeal to you.

Rida Fatima

News writer
An ardent wordsmith with a rich five-year background in delving into the realms of finance and cryptocurrencies. Alongside curating captivating blogs, Unique's talents extend to crafting imaginative and engaging content.