Someone else could probably provide a better explanation if they are familiar with securities, but I think your last sentence touched on the fundamental takeaway.
To start an ETF requires an exemption as they are a relatively new financial tool. However, 15% of financial products offered are now ETFs and the SEC wants to simplify the process, provided the ETF provides a basic level of transparency and security to investors.
I don’t want to start saying bullrun 2019 just yet, but this could be massive not just for BTC but for cryptocurrencies and ETF funds of all kinds.
ETFs are a 3.4 trillion dollar market. If investment companies are going to start including a crypto ETF index of a top 5, top 10/blockchain data services fund/supply chain blockchain fund, or whatever, then it will be a literal flood of cash coming in. It also means people could choose to allocate % portions of their 401k to crypto. When financial advisors are advising their clients, they could now LEGALLY inform them to put 5-10% of their portfolio into a crypto ETF, which by law they cannot right now.
This is what mass market adoption looks like. This is how the regular joe enters crypto.
Forget Coinbase, most people will never get past KYC. This is where the regular joe will instruct their financial advisor to allocate 5-10% of their portfolio into a “risky” asset, that has potential to multiply many times over, in additional to their stable assets like a 20% REIT/40% S&P 500/30% bonds.
Just my two cents.