The race to list the first spot-traded Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF) in the United States has seen the entrance of major financial institutions like BlackRock, Fidelity and VanEck.
While the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) first approved a Bitcoin-linked Futures ETF in October 2021, the current filings are for spot Bitcoin ETFs. Following Grayscale’s recent legal victory against the SEC’s review of its spot Bitcoin ETF proposal, many now believe approval of the investment funds is more likely.
The interest of BlackRock — the world’s largest asset manager with over $8 trillion worth of assets under management — prompted several other institutions to refile for a spot Bitcoin ETF.
Most of these asset managers had to either withdraw their spot Bitcoin ETF filings or face rejection due to the SEC’s reservations concerning a spot-derived ETF. Here are the key Bitcoin ETF applicants:
- BlackRock: BlackRock filed for a spot Bitcoin ETF on June 15, with Coinbase as the crypto custodian and spot market data provider and BNY Mellon as its cash custodian. The filing shocked the crypto and traditional finance world, and the firm’s CEO, Larry Fink, had previously called BTC an index for money laundering. On July 15, the SEC formally accepted BlackRock’s spot Bitcoin ETF application for review.
- WisdomTree: The New York-based asset manager first filed for a spot Bitcoin ETF in the U.S. on Dec. 8, 2021, which was rejected by the SEC in 2022. The agency claimed the ETF fell short in terms of investor protection; however, with BlackRock’s entry in the spot Bitcoin ETF race, WisdomTree refiled with the SEC on July 19.
- Valkyrie Investments: Asset management firm Valkyrie filed its first spot Bitcoin ETF application in January 2021 but faced rejection from the SEC, like many other asset managers. However, with the rejuvenated enthusiasm around a spot Bitcoin ETF, Valkyrie refiled its application on June 21. The ETF would refer to the Chicago Mercantile Exchange’s (CME) reference price for Bitcoin and trade on NYSE Arca, with Xapo as the crypto custodian.
- ARK Invest: ARK filed an application for its ARK 21Shares Bitcoin ETF in June 2021. ARK Invest has partnered with Swiss-based ETF provider 21Shares to offer the fund, and it will launch on the Chicago Board Options Exchange (Cboe) BZX Exchange under the ticker symbol ARKB if approved.
- VanEck: VanEck is one of the earliest Bitcoin ETF applicants, making its first filing in 2018. The…