Binance CEO Richard Teng told Zawya that the approval of the first US-listed spot Bitcoin exchange traded funds (ETFs), announced on Wednesday, signifies a new level of acceptance, maturity and mainstreaming of the crypto market.

Teng, who replaced Changpeng Zhao (widely known as CZ) as Binance’s CEO in November, said, “The SEC’s approval of Bitcoin ETFs is likely to fuel the expansion of crypto competencies within financial institutions.

“This expectation is in line with the growing adoption of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology across the financial sector.”

Teng said the increased acceptance and mainstreaming of the crypto market are expected to drive demand for skilled professionals in blockchain and cryptocurrency trading as well as regulatory compliance.

“Binance sees this as part of a broader trend where traditional financial institutions recognise the significance of digital assets and blockchain technology. It is also anticipated that the industry’s growth will lead to an increased integration of crypto-related roles within these institutions,” he said.

“Binance believes that this development is a testament to the regulatory progress in this field and adds credibility to the industry, making it more attractive to both institutional and retail investors,” he added.           

Bitcoin ETFs will facilitate more straightforward access, appealing to a more diverse range of investors and enhancing liquidity, in a similar way to the positive price action triggered by gold ETFs in 2004, he said.

“This holds especially true in light of the coinciding Bitcoin Halving event this year,” he said. Halving is an event during which Bitcoin cuts the amount of coins that can be earned by miners.

Teng also described the approval as a milestone that could inspire further innovation in the crypto sector, encouraging financial institutions and investment firms to explore a diverse range of crypto-related products beyond crypto ETFs.

The move fosters trust in the market among a wider audience, he said, adding that Binance is looking forward to upcoming milestones, such as the SEC’s decision on Ether (ETH) ETFs, due to be announced in May, as well as traditional finance’s potential interest in custodying digital assets.

Following the approval by the SEC of spot Bitcoin ETFs last week, experts told Zawya that mainstream financial institutions had already been expanding crypto and blockchain ventures, and that work was expected to come to fruition in 2024.

Singapore-based AsiaNext, an institution-only digital asset exchange, also announced last week that it had launched crypto derivatives trading, which it described as a “crucial development” for institutional investors.

(Reporting by Imogen Lillywhite; editing by Seban Scaria)