Bitcoin ETFs in the UK: Will British Investors Get Greenlight?

US approval of Bitcoin ETFs reignites debate in the UK, with industry calling for wider access for British investors.

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  • Industry leaders have called for wider access to Bitcoin for British investors through ETFs.
  • The FCA has remained cautious due to Bitcoin’s volatility and a desire to protect retail investors.
  • The Bitcoin ETF approvals in the US have put pressure on the FCA to revisit its stance.

The approval of Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in the US has reignited a simmering debate in the UK, with industry leaders calling for wider access for British investors. This comes amid a surge in investment in the US following the January greenlight from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Advocates for Bitcoin ETFs in the UK

Bivu Das, Managing Director of Kraken UK, sees Bitcoin ETFs as a crucial step towards establishing the UK as a major player in the cryptocurrency industry. These investment vehicles allow investors to gain exposure to Bitcoin’s price movements without directly owning the cryptocurrency itself. 

This could potentially offer a more regulated and accessible entry point for those interested in the digital asset. However, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) remains cautious. In 2021, they banned the retail sale of crypto-derivative products, including exchange-traded notes (ETPs) backed by cryptocurrencies. 


Some see this stance as disadvantageing the UK compared to the US, where retail investors can now readily invest in Bitcoin ETFs. Das argues that the regulatory landscape has evolved since the 2021 ban. He believes ETFs could even address some of the FCA’s concerns, as investors wouldn’t directly hold the underlying Bitcoin

This could pave the way for a more open approach from the regulator. There are signs of a potential shift, with the FCA recently approving the launch of crypto ETNs, albeit only for institutional investors. This limited move could be considered a cautious step towards opening up wider crypto investment opportunities.

Balancing Innovation and Risk

Coinbase UK CEO Daniel Seifert aligns with Das’ sentiment, believing that a wider range of investment products like ETFs would give consumers more options. This push for increased investor choice reflects a broader trend toward democratizing access to financial markets.


However, the FCA faces a delicate balancing act. While fostering innovation in the crypto sector is crucial for maintaining the UK’s financial competitiveness, protecting retail investors from potential harm remains a top priority. The high volatility of the cryptocurrency market raises concerns about the suitability of complex instruments like ETFs for inexperienced investors.

The recent influx of billions of dollars into US Bitcoin ETFs highlights the growing global appetite for these products. This surge in demand could put further pressure on the FCA to revisit its stance. The potential benefits of increased investment and a more robust crypto ecosystem could outweigh the perceived risks, eventually leading to a more open regulatory environment.

On the Flipside

  • The FCA might wait for a clearer picture of global crypto regulations before taking a definitive stance on Bitcoin ETFs.
  • Even if the FCA approves Bitcoin ETFs, additional regulations and oversight may be implemented, potentially impacting product offerings and accessibility.

Why This Matters

This US decision could trigger a domino effect, putting pressure on the UK’s FCA to reconsider its cautious stance on Bitcoin ETFs. If the FCA loosens regulations, it could attract significant investment and solidify the UK’s position in the global crypto market. However, this hinges on balancing fostering innovation and protecting less experienced investors.

Bitcoin ETFs have seen record-breaking outflows recently after a period of large inflows. To learn more about what this means for Bitcoin’s price, read here:

Bitcoin ETFs End Week in Net Outflows Amid BTC Pullback

The UK may permit crypto ETNs for select investors, a shift from the FCA’s earlier stance. Explore the conditions for potential approval here:

UK Mulls Crypto Exchange Traded Notes for Select Investors

This article is for information purposes only and should not be considered trading or investment advice. Nothing herein shall be construed as financial, legal, or tax advice. Trading forex, cryptocurrencies, and CFDs pose a considerable risk of loss.

Kyle Calvert

Kyle Calvert is a cryptocurrency news reporter for DailyCoin, specializing in Ripple, stablecoins, as well as price and market analysis news. Before his current role, Kyle worked as a student researcher in the cryptocurrency industry, gaining an understanding of how digital currencies work, their potential uses, and their impact on the economy and society. He completed his Masters and Honors degrees in Blockchain Technology within Esports and Business and Event management within Esports at Staffordshire University.