In the past two weeks, there has been a series of spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) applications from different traditional finance giants in the United States.
The frenzy started after BlackRock, the world’s biggest asset manager with over $9 trillion in AUM, submitted its spot Bitcoin ETF filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on June 15.
A Bitcoin Spot ETF Frenzy
BlackRock’s move spurred several Bitcoin ETF hopefuls to make fresh applications despite repeated rejections from the SEC in the past. The development also triggered a BTC rally that caused the leading crypto asset to soar past $30,000 and chart a multi-month peak.
An ETF is an investment vehicle that tracks the value of an underlying asset. A Bitcoin ETF would expose investors to the cryptocurrency without the burden of physically buying and holding the digital asset. It also relieves them of the stress of understanding the complexities of crypto exchanges, private keys, and crypto wallets.
A spot Bitcoin ETF directly tracks the price of BTC, while a futures Bitcoin ETF would follow the price of the asset’s futures contracts.
The SEC has rejected dozens of spot Bitcoin ETFs in the past, arguing that the proposals did not meet anti-fraud and investor protection standards. The regulator also mentioned the potential for market manipulation of the underlying crypto asset.
However, BlackRock’s application has renewed the hopes of several traditional firms in the U.S.
U.S. Companies That Have Filed for Spot Bitcoin ETF
Shortly after BlackRock’s ETF application, which mentioned Coinbase Custody as its crypto custodian and BNY Mellon as its cash custodian, New York-based asset manager WisdomTree resubmitted its filing for approval on June 20. The SEC previously rejected WisdomTree’s spot filing twice, in 2021 and 2022; hence, this is the firm’s third attempt.
Investment management company Invesco also submitted its second spot Bitcoin ETF application on the same day as WisdomTree. The firm and Galaxy Digital initially filed a joint application in September 2021.
Shortly after, financial services firm Valkyrie rejoined the queue, filing for the Valkyrie Bitcoin Fund on June 21. The company’s initial filing was rejected around Christmas 2021.
Up next was investment manager VanEck’s refiling on June 22 after two rejections in 2021 and March 2023.
On June 29, Fidelity Digital Assets tried again with a spot Bitcoin ETF filing after modifications to make the document identical to BlackRock’s submission.
Meanwhile, Cathie Wood’s Ark Invest and Swiss-based ETF provider 21Shares submitted their third application on April 25 to launch the ARK 21Shares Bitcoin ETF.
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