U.S. SEC Approves Spot Ether ETFs Following Spot Bitcoin ETF Approval Earlier This Year

6 min readMay 31, 2024


Now accepting applications for ether ETFs to trade on Upstream’s Ethereum powered market and trading app

By Fernanda De La Torre

On May 22, 2024, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)approved the first eight applications for spot ether Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs), marking a significant milestone in the crypto, and greater blockchain community.¹

This decision follows the approval of spot bitcoin ETFs earlier this year, highlighting a growing demand for exposure to cryptocurrencies in mainstream financial markets. This approval also implies that ether, like bitcoin, is a commodity.

These approvals included Blackrock’s iShares Ethereum Trust, VanEck Ethereum Trust, Fidelity Ethereum Fund, ARK 21Shares Ethereum ETF, Franklin Ethereum ETF, Bitwise Ethereum ETF, Grayscale Ethereum Trust, and Invesco Galaxy Ethereum ETF.²

Following the approvals, Upstream, a MERJ Exchange stock market and global trading app, is excited to announce that we are accepting applications for both ether and bitcoin ETFs to list.

It’s important to note that Upstream is not a cryptocurrency market and does not allow account funding via bitcoin, ether or crypto trading. Upstream is a securities market and trading app powered by Ethereum smart-contract technology. Further, U.S. and Canadian investors may not deposit, buy, or sell securities on Upstream.

As an Ethereum-powered market, this industry milestone is special, and we look forward to meeting the demand for international investors seeking to gain exposure to ether and bitcoin from a streamlined account, and without directly owning the cryptocurrency. Just as ether ETFs aim to provide streamlined access to crypto for investors, Upstream strives to offer international investors streamlined access to securities from exchanges worldwide.

What are Ether Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs)?

Ether Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) are investment funds that hold ether (ETH), the cryptocurrency native to the Ethereum blockchain, as their primary asset. These funds track the price of Ethereum and allows investors to gain exposure to the price movements of ether without directly owning the cryptocurrency. ETFs are traded on traditional stock exchanges, making it easier for investors to buy and sell shares compared to trading on cryptocurrency exchanges.

The SEC’s Decision

These SEC approvals come after proposals from major exchanges like Nasdaq, NYSE, and CBOE, which requested changes to existing rules to accommodate ether Exchange-Traded Products (ETPs) and ETFs. This approval is particularly noteworthy given the SEC’s historically cautious stance towards cryptocurrencies and the protracted process it took to approve Bitcoin ETFs.³

Even with the approval, spot ether ETFs won’t start trading right away. Issuers must first obtain SEC approval for individual ETF registration statements that include detailed investor disclosures. The timeline for this additional approval process remains uncertain.

Ether ETFs on Upstream’s Ethereum-Powered Market

Upstream leverages Horizon’s in-house Ethereum layer-2 smart-contract technology suite, enabling seamless issuance and secondary trading of securities. The SEC’s approval of ether ETFs aligns with our mission to democratize access to financial markets and reinforces the potential of Ethereum-based technologies.

Upstream is designed to remove the barriers typically involved when accessing U.S., Canadian, and other international securities. International investors can simply download Upstream, fund their account using a credit/debit card, PayPal, USDC or USD and access these securities.

All blockchain remains under the hood. Investors trade in real-time 20 hours a day, 5 days a week with streamlined onboarding, transparent orderbooks, and modern funding methods like credit/debit card and PayPal to access equities. The software was designed to prevent short selling, market makers, payment for order flow, and other possible market manipulation techniques thanks to Horizon’s smart-contract technology design.

This move for ether and bitcoin ETFs to be made available on Upstream’s global market aligns with the values the underlying technology promotes, including transparency, real-time trading, and non-custodial ownership. It also maintains the simplicity of traditional exchanges, featuring user-friendly onboarding, secure asset holding, and other investor protections.

Ether and bitcoin ETFs are unlocking a whole new pool of investors. We believe Upstream can push that further, with its market being powered by the same technology that gives digital currencies their value.

The swift approval of ether ETFs has been met with surprise and optimism within the industry, signaling a positive shift in regulatory attitudes towards cryptocurrencies. For Upstream, this development not only validates our technological foundation but also opens up new opportunities for our platform and users. We look forward to leveraging this momentum to continue providing innovative trading solutions.

Parties interested in listing an ether or bitcoin ETF on Upstream can get started at: https://upstream.exchange/GetListed or reach the team at hello@upstream.exchange.


1,2 Reuters | 3 Fintech Magazine


U.S. persons may not deposit, buy, or sell securities on Upstream.This communication shall not constitute an offer to sell securities or the solicitation of an offer to buy securities in any jurisdiction where such offer or solicitation is not permitted. NFTs have no royalties, equity ownership, or dividends. NFTs are for utility, collection, redemption, or display purposes only. Anyone may buy and sell NFTs on Upstream. All orders for sale are non-solicited by Upstream and a user’s decision to trade securities must be based on their own investment judgment.

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