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How Is Ethereum ETF Approval Different From Bitcoin ETF?

By May 28, 2024June 7th, 20243 minute read

The crypto industry has achieved another milestone towards mainstream acceptance: On 23rd May 2024, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved spot Ethereum ETFs. However, the approval process for the Ethereum ETFs is different from the Bitcoin ETF approval in January 2023. In this blog, we’ll delve into the differences, exploring the implications and significance of each approval.

The Approval Timeline and Initial Reception

Bitcoin ETF Approval

The SEC’s decision to approve the first Bitcoin ETF in January 2023 was a historic move. This approval opened doors for institutional and retail investors to track Bitcoin’s movements without directly holding the crypto. The announcement was celebrated as it legitimized Bitcoin as a recognized investment asset.

Ethereum ETF Approval

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On 23rd May 2024, the SEC approved a spot Ethereum ETF, allowing investment firms to offer an ETF of the crypto. This approval timely coincided with ongoing discussions about classifying Ethereum as a security. The approval followed legislation aimed at providing greater regulatory clarity over digital assets. Unlike the Bitcoin ETF approval, which had a relatively straightforward path, Ethereum’s approval came amidst a more complex regulatory environment.

Market Impact and Investor Reactions

Institutional and Retail Investor Interest

Both Bitcoin and Ethereum ETF approvals sparked significant interest from institutional and retail investors.

Bitcoin’s approval marked a major step in its acceptance, allowing investors to engage with the crypto through regulated financial products.

Ethereum’s approval similarly opened the market to a broader investor base, enhancing its credibility and accessibility.

Price Movements and Trading Volumes

Following the approval of the Bitcoin ETF, Bitcoin saw substantial price increases and spikes in trading volume, reflecting heightened market activity and investor confidence.

Similarly, Ethereum’s approval led to a surge in its price, reaching a 12-month peak. Trading volumes expanded significantly, indicating strong market enthusiasm.

Regulatory Challenges and Considerations

Bitcoin’s Regulatory Hurdles

The approval of Bitcoin ETFs faced considerable regulatory scrutiny, with the SEC closely examining the potential for market manipulation and the need for investor protection. Despite these challenges, Bitcoin’s relatively established position in the market and its growing institutional adoption helped overcome regulatory concerns.

Ethereum’s Unique Challenges

Ethereum’s approval process was more nuanced, partly due to ongoing debates about its classification as a security. The SEC’s decision came at a critical juncture, with regulatory clarity over digital assets being a focal point. The complexity of Ethereum’s ecosystem, including its smart contract capabilities and broader applications, added layers to the regulatory considerations.

Implications for the Crypto Market

Bitcoin’s Established Position

Bitcoin’s ETF approval solidified its status as the premier cryptocurrency, paving the way for other digital assets. It demonstrated that cryptocurrencies could be integrated into traditional financial systems, fostering greater acceptance and adoption.

Ethereum’s Expanding Role

Ethereum’s approval signifies the growing importance of its ecosystem. Ethereum’s applications in Decentralized Finance (DeFi), Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), and smart contracts underscore its utility beyond a mere store of value. The approval could catalyze further innovations and integrations within the financial sector, highlighting Ethereum’s versatility.

The Future of Crypto ETFs

Expanding Crypto’s Utility

The approval of crypto ETFs marks a significant step in integrating cryptos into mainstream finance. These developments are expected to drive innovation and expand the utility of digital assets, influencing market dynamics and investor behavior.

Political and Regulatory Motivations

The timing and approval of these ETFs also reflect political and regulatory motivations. While ETFs boost institutional demand and enhance market legitimacy, the regulatory environment continues to evolve. Addressing centralization risks and ensuring robust regulatory frameworks will be crucial for sustaining the growth and acceptance of cryptos.


The approvals of Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs are pivotal moments in the crypto industry, each with unique challenges and implications. While Bitcoin’s ETF approval marked the beginning of mainstream acceptance, Ethereum’s ETF approval underscores the expanding role of digital assets in the financial ecosystem.

ETF approvals are not just milestones; they are indicators of the future trajectory of the digital asset landscape.

Disclaimer: Cryptocurrency is not a legal tender and is currently unregulated. Kindly ensure that you undertake sufficient risk assessment when trading cryptocurrencies as they are often subject to high price volatility. The information provided in this section doesn't represent any investment advice or WazirX's official position. WazirX reserves the right in its sole discretion to amend or change this blog post at any time and for any reasons without prior notice.
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Harshita Shrivastava

Harshita Shrivastava is an Associate Content Writer with WazirX. She did her graduation in E-Commerce and loved the concept of Digital Marketing. With a brief knowledge of SEO and Content Writing, she knows how to win her content game!

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