If there's any one solid metric proving that the death of crypto has been greatly exaggerated, it's the number of access points for investors to buy crypto.
Why it matters: People want an easy, direct way to invest in crypto, like they invest in stocks and bonds, but regulators have yet to approve them.
So far, the Securities and Exchange Commission has only approved ETFs that hold bitcoin futures, which investors use to trade on the price they think bitcoin will strike, without actually owning any bitcoin.
Details: ETFs are vehicles that can hold virtually any asset, whether they are stocks, bonds or commodities like gold — but not for crypto, at least not directly, in the U.S.
State of play: Grayscale's application for a spot bitcoin ETF was rejected by the SEC in June, putting the firm's plans to convert the $14 billion Grayscale Bitcoin Trust into an ETF.
The way Grayscale's product works is like that of closed-end funds. In that only Grayscale can create or remove shares from the market, and the firm does so, through private placements and redemptions available solely to accredited investors, when the firm wants.
How it works: The great thing about an ETF is that through the use of people or firms called "authorized participants," shares can be created and removed from the market as needed, by exchanging them for pro-rata slices of the portfolio they represent.
What's happening: Regulators and wannabe spot bitcoin ETF issuers appear to have reached an impasse in the U.S., with ETF shops continuing to file applications in the face of serial rejection.
Be smart: That's because being first matters.
The other side: Yet a "whirlwind tour" of crypto ETP activity outside of the U.S. shows a blossoming supply of crypto investment vehicles.
ETF issuers from Brazil to Australia are reaching across jurisdictions to offer their products, according to Fuhr.
Aside from the ETFs that track bitcoin futures, which professional investors use to place indirect trades on bitcoin, U.S. investors will also find funds (ETFs included) that hold crypto stocks.
Crystal's thought bubble: In the U.S. the available options are few and mostly indirect plays on crypto, unless you're rich or well-versed in native crypto transactions.


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