The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) granted approval on Wednesday to the first-ever U.S.-listed exchange-traded funds (ETFs) tracking Bitcoin, signaling a significant milestone for the world’s largest cryptocurrency and the broader crypto industry. SEC Chair Gary Gensler announced the approval, revealing a list of prominent firms whose applications were greenlit, including BlackRock, Ark Investments, 21Shares, Fidelity, Invesco, and VanEck.

Expected to commence trading as early as Thursday, these ETFs represent a decade-long endeavor and are poised to revolutionize the crypto landscape. The approval marks a pivotal moment for Bitcoin, allowing both institutional and retail investors to gain exposure to the cryptocurrency without directly owning it. This move is anticipated to inject newfound confidence into a crypto industry grappling with a series of scandals.

Analysts from Standard Chartered predict that the ETFs could attract between $50 billion and $100 billion in the current year alone, potentially propelling Bitcoin’s price to the $100,000 mark. Other industry experts offer a more conservative estimate, anticipating inflows closer to $55 billion over the next five years.

Andrew Bond, Managing Director and Senior Fintech Analyst at Rosenblatt Securities, emphasized the significance of the SEC’s decision, stating, “It’s a huge positive for the institutionalization of Bitcoin as an asset class. The ETF approval will further legitimize Bitcoin.”

The surge in Bitcoin’s value by over 70% in recent months reflects the market’s anticipation of ETF approvals for the cryptocurrency. The SEC’s approval marks a notable shift in its stance, as it had rejected Bitcoin ETF proposals for a decade, citing concerns about potential market manipulation.

Last year, optimism soared following a federal appeals court ruling that deemed the SEC’s rejection of an application from Grayscale Investments to convert its existing Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) into an ETF as incorrect. This ruling prompted the SEC to re-evaluate its position, eventually leading to the recent approval.

In a statement, SEC Chair Gensler acknowledged the impact of the court ruling, stating that approving these products was “the most sustainable path forward.” However, he emphasized that the SEC does not endorse Bitcoin, acknowledging its inherent risks and volatility.

As these ETFs hit the market, the crypto industry anticipates the influx of institutional and retail investments, heralding a new era for Bitcoin and the broader digital asset space.