BlackRock's recent move to file for a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has reignited discussions surrounding spot bitcoin ETFs and their implications for the institutional investment landscape. While this development has sparked divisive debates within the U.S., a more insightful perspective on the potential of spot bitcoin ETFs can be gained by looking north to Canada, where these financial instruments have been approved and operational for over two and a half years. In this edition of Crypto Long & Short, we delve into the Canadian experience with spot bitcoin ETFs, shedding light on their safety, reliability, and accessibility, and how they have contributed to the broader adoption of crypto-based investments. For those in the "not-your-keys, not-your-crypto" camp, the prospect of entrusting bitcoin assets to an ETF might raise concerns. However, Canada's robust regulatory environment has compelled fund providers to maintain a high level of transparency and adhere to stringent operational standards. As a result, the likelihood of asset commingling, hacks, and fraudulent activities has been dramatically reduced. Unlike some unfortunate incidents in the crypto industry involving platforms like FTX, Celsius Network, and BlockFi, Canadian spot bitcoin ETF investors have not experienced asset hacks or losses due to poor management practices. The U.S. SEC's reservations about spot bitcoin ETFs have been evident, even as it approved bitcoin futures ETFs and direct trading of digital assets on exchanges. However, Canada's example provides a compelling case for the efficiency of spot ETFs in closely mimicking direct portfolio exposure to bitcoin. These Canadian spot ETFs have effectively sidestepped the added uncertainties and market volatility associated with futures trading, offering investors a straightforward way to participate in the crypto market without the operational opacity often seen on unregulated exchanges. The significance of accessibility cannot be underestimated when considering the mainstream adoption potential of any asset. A Bank of Canada study from 2021 highlighted a strong correlation between the rise in bitcoin investments in Canada and the emergence of user-friendly mobile exchanges. This underscores the impact of ease of access on investor participation. The success of the top three Canadian bitcoin ETFs, which have attracted significant capital inflows, further reinforces the appeal of a bitcoin-backed financial asset seamlessly integrated into the traditional financial system. The ease of entry and integration with established investment channels make Canadian spot bitcoin ETFs an attractive proposition for a wide range of investors. In conclusion, Canada's experience with spot bitcoin ETFs offers valuable insights into their safety, reliability, and accessibility. The success of these ETFs in the Canadian market highlights the potential benefits they can bring to a diverse investor base, transcending the concerns of the "not-your-keys, not-your-crypto" philosophy. As the U.S. continues to deliberate on the introduction of spot bitcoin ETFs, the Canadian model serves as a compelling case study, demonstrating that a well-regulated and transparent ETF structure can indeed foster greater investor confidence and participation in the exciting realm of cryptocurrencies.