top of page
  • Writer's pictureSarah Dixon

BlackRock seeks Bitcoin ETF.

BlackRock seeks Bitcoin ETF.
BlackRock seeks Bitcoin ETF.

The world’s largest asset manager, BlackRock, has announced that it has filed an application for a Bitcoin spot exchange-traded fund (ETF).

If approved, BlackRock’s Bitcoin spot ETF will become the first crypto spot ETF in the United States of America.

BlackRock seeks Bitcoin ETF. Details Of The Application

News about BlackRock being close to submitting an application for a Bitcoin ETF (Exchange Traded Fund) was recently revealed by a source familiar with the matter. According to a filing by the Nasdaq stock exchange with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the custodian of the fund’s Bitcoin holdings would be the Coinbase Custody Trust Company. Meanwhile, the Bank of New York Mellon would hold custody of the fund’s fiat currency. BlackRock seeks Bitcoin ETF.

The Trust's main assets are bitcoin held by a custodian, specifically Coinbase Custody Trust Company, LLC. Bank of New York Mellon is the custodian for the Trust's cash holdings.

“The Shares have been designed to remove the obstacles represented by the complexities and operational burdens involved in a direct investment in Bitcoin.”

According to the filing, the Bitcoin price will be updated every 15 seconds during regular market trading through the CF Benchmarks Index.

Previously Approved Spot Exchange Products

The filing also noted that previously approved spot exchange-traded products in the commodities and currency markets were generally unregulated and that the commission relied on the underlying futures market as the basis for approving or rejecting trust shares in previous instances.

“As such, the regulated market of significant size test does not require that the spot bitcoin market be regulated in order for the Commission to approve this proposal.”

The US Securities and Exchange Commission has not approved any Bitcoin Exchange Traded Fund applications. Grayscale filed a lawsuit against the SEC after their application was rejected. They challenged the SEC's refusal to approve their Bitcoin spot exchange-traded fund.

“The fundamental problem with the order is that it contradicts previous SEC orders giving the green light to Bitcoin futures ETPs that pose the same risk of fraud and manipulation and have in place the same CME [Chicago Mercantile Exchange] surveillance mechanism to protect against those risks.”

Others, such as Cathie Wood’s ARK Invest and European investment firm 21Shares, have also been pushing hard for their own spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund approval, having filed their third application back in April. Canada’s Purpose Bitcoin ETF was the world’s first spot-traded Bitcoin ETF, having been set up in early 2021.

BlackRock’s Previous Exchange-Traded Fund

BlackRock launched a Europe-focused exchange-traded fund in September 2022 to provide greater exposure to crypto and the blockchain ecosystem for its European customers. The iShares Blockchain Technology UCITS ETF had 75% of its holdings in exchanges and blockchain companies, while the remaining 25% supported the larger blockchain ecosystem. Major companies in crypto, including Galaxy Digital, Marathon Digital, and Coinbase, were included in the ETF's holdings. The fund's biggest holdings included USD Cash, Block, Coinbase, Riot Blockchain, and Marathon Digital Holdings. Reports at the time suggested that a metaverse-focused ETF was also in development.

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.


bottom of page