Cryptocurrency News

Blackrock’s spot Bitcoin ETF renews optimism, sparks wave of new filings



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At least two investment firms have made new filings for spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETF) following investment colossus BlackRock’s move to lodge a similar application for its own spot Bitcoin ETF on June 15. 

New York-based asset management fund WisdomTree is the most recent investment firm to lodge a new filing for a spot Bitcoin ETF.

According to a June 21 filing to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), WisdomTree requested that the SEC allow it to list its “WisdomTree Bitcoin Trust” on the Cboe BZX Exchange under the ticker “BTCW.”

WisdomTree has applied for a spot Bitcoin ETF twice before. Its first application was rejected by the SEC in December 2021. It’s second application was rejected once again in October 2022, with the financial regulator citing similar concerns of fraud and market manipulation.  At the time of publication, WisdomTree oversees approximately $83 billion in assets.

One of the key differences with BlackRock’s recent filing to the SEC is that it intends to enter into a “surveillance sharing agreement” with the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) futures markets.

BlackRock’s proposal cites the SEC’s approval of a Bitcoin futures fund by investment advisory firm Teucrium. That ruling noted that the CME “comprehensively surveils futures market conditions and price movements on a real time and ongoing basis in order to detect and prevent price distortions, including price distortions caused by manipulative efforts.”

This has been echoed in WisdomTree’s filing as well, which states that it too is willing to enter into such a surveillance agreement with “an operator of a US-based spot trading platform for Bitcoin.”

Less than four hours after WisdomTree filed its application, global investment manager Invesco “reactivated” its application for a similar product.

According to the 19b-4 document — which informs the SEC of a proposed rule change — Invesco requested that the financial regulator allow its “Invesco Galaxy Bitcoin ETF” product to be listed on the Cboe BZX exchange.

The filing notes that a spot Bitcoin ETF which uses “professional custodians and other service providers,” removes the need for investors to rely on “loosely regulated offshore vehicles” in turn, allowing for investors to more readily “protect their principal investments in Bitcoin.”

While the SEC is yet to approve a single spot Bitcoin ETF product, Bloomberg’s senior ETF analyst Eric Balchunas said that “BlackRock breathed new life into the race,” in response to his own tweet concerning the WisdomTree filing.

Additionally, Balchunas said that crypto investors may have good reason to be optimistic when it comes to BlackRock’s move, sharing that the investment firm has a “575-1” record of getting ETFs approved by the regulator.

Related: BlackRock’s Bitcoin ETF ‘is the best thing to happen’ to BTC, or is it?

In addition to the recent activity from WisdomTree and Invesco, rumors have begun circulating that the multi-trillion-dollar fund manager Fidelity Investments is also looking to capitalize on the newfound frenzy for spot Bitcoin ETFs.

Related: BlackRock’s Bitcoin ETF ‘is the best thing to happen’ to BTC, or is it?

According to a June 19 tweet from Arch Public co-founder @AP_Abacus, Fidelity Investment, which manages some $4.9 trillion in assets — may look to file for its own spot Bitcoin ETF. Alternatively Abacus notes that the investment firm could make an offer on Grasyscale’s GBTC ETF product.

Cointelegraph reached out to Fidelity for confirmation but did not receive an immediate response.

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