Ric: What is the meaning of the word ‘spot’ within your discussion of the recently SEC-approved Bitcoin ETFs? It seems to come and go at random in your podcast from 16-January. Is a spot Bitcoin ETF different from a Bitcoin ETF? Seemingly random use of the word ‘spot’ makes things less clear. I’m sure it’s not complicated and may be able to be ignored, but it seems worthy of some explanation. Perhaps it’s an illustration of how specialized fields can become opaque to “outsiders” through the use of abbreviated or unusual language which is nondescript .
Yeah, this is a silly situation, and you’re right to call it out.
We never refer to “spot” with any other ETF, so why these? Simple: the first bitcoin ETFs were bitcoin futures ETFs (which are bets on the future price of bitcoin). So when these came out, we needed to differentiate between them and the futures ETFs. “Spot” means “current”. So – the spot bitcoin ETFs buy bitcoin at the current price, and the bitcoin futures ETFs are based on the future (expected) price.