Cryptocurrency News

BlackRock applies for spot Bitcoin ETF — a US first, if approved



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BlackRock has filed an application for a Bitcoin spot exchange traded fund (ETF). The investment company is the world’s largest and it would be the first crypto spot ETF in the United States, if it receives approval.

According to a filling by the Nasdaq stock exchange with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Coinbase Custody Trust Company would be the custodian of the fund’s Bitcoin holdings and Bank of New York Mellon would custody its fiat. BlackRock’s iShares Bitcoin Trust would be traded as Commodity-Based Trust Shares.

According to the application filed on June 15:

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

The Bitcoin price will be updated “at least” every 15 seconds during regular market trading using the CF Benchmarks Index.

The document notes that previously approved spot exchange traded products in the commodities and currency markets “are generally unregulated and […] the Commission relied on the underlying futures market” as “the basis for approving” trust shares in the past. Thus:

“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 SEC has not approved a spot Bitcoin ETF so far, despite numerous applicants. Grayscale took the SEC to appeals court to argue for the soundness of the Bitcoin futures after the SEC rejected its application to create a spot Bitcoin ETF.

Related: GBTC approval could return a ‘couple billion dollars’ to investors: Grayscale CEO

Cathie Wood’s ARK Invest and European investment firm 21Shares have also been pressing for spot Bitcoin ETF approval, filing their third applications in April.

The world’s first spot traded Bitcoin ETF was Canada’s Purpose Bitcoin ETF, set up in early 2021.

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