BlackRock files for spot-Bitcoin (BTC) ETF

The world’s largest exchange-traded fund issuer will reportedly use Coinbase as a custodian

Investment management firm BlackRock is seeking permission from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to offer a Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF) in partnership with cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase.
Yesterday, included in a filing to the SEC, the investment giant voiced its intentions to launch a fund tracking the price of BTC titled the ‘iShares BTC Trust”, with Coinbase as the custodian for the digital currency.

If the ETF is approved, it will be listed on the American stock exchange, the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations (Nasdaq). BlackRock’s filing comes at a time of speculation after it had recently blocked other — similarly large — firms in their attempt to launch spot-BTC ETFs.

In 2022, asset management firm Greyscale Investments sued the SEC after it denied the corporation’s application to convert its flagship spot Grayscale BTC Trust (GBTC) into a spot BTC ETF-traded product.

Moreover, the SEC has tightened its reigns on crypto platforms and recently sued both cryptocurrency exchanges Coinbase and Binance following an investigation into operating as unregistered national securities. Bloomberg senior ETF analyst Eric Balchunas said he found the BlackRock filing “a shocker”.

“There have been no signs at all the SEC is willing to approve, but BlackRock is very a connected company so maybe they know something?” he tweeted. Many investors see the approval of a spot-BTC ETF as a step in the right direction for the digital currency in the financial market – a move unlocking a vast amount of institutional investment in BTC.

Despite recent lawsuits, BlackRock’s ETF has inspired several firms to express an interest in seeking permission to offer BTC ETFs. The company’s iShares Blockchain and Tech ETF (IBLC) has increased 77% this year alone.

Additionally, Global X Blockchain ETF (BKCH) has more than doubled since the beginning of 2023, and the First Trust SkyBridge Crypto Industry and Digital Economy ETF (CRPT) added 46%. The move has paved the way for the introduction of crypto and blockchain ETFs which have been among some of the best-performing funds over the last 12 months.

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Written by Isabella Aslam

Reporter

Isabella is an experienced writer in B2B and B2C journalism. Alongside crypto, Isabella writes and discusses the topics of relationships and psychology. Isabella holds a first-class degree in music journalism and often interviews electronic artists and DJs.