Renewed Optimism and Surge of Filings Follow BlackRock’s Spot Bitcoin ETF Application

Renewed optimism and a surge of new filings have followed BlackRock’s application for a spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) on June 15, with at least two investment firms joining the race.

WisdomTree, an asset management fund based in New York, recently submitted a filing to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) requesting approval for its “WisdomTree Bitcoin Trust” to be listed on the Cboe BZX Exchange under the ticker symbol “BTCW.”

This marks WisdomTree’s third attempt to launch a spot Bitcoin ETF, with its previous applications being rejected by the SEC in December 2021 and October 2022 due to concerns over fraud and market manipulation. Currently, WisdomTree oversees approximately $83 billion in assets.

A notable distinction between BlackRock’s filing and previous attempts is its intention to establish a “surveillance sharing agreement” with the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) futures markets. BlackRock’s proposal references the SEC’s approval of a Bitcoin futures fund by Teucrium, highlighting the CME’s ability to effectively monitor market conditions and detect potential price distortions caused by manipulative efforts.

WisdomTree’s filing also includes a similar commitment to enter into a surveillance agreement with a US-based spot trading platform for Bitcoin.

Shortly after WisdomTree’s filing, global investment manager Invesco “reactivated” its application for a comparable product, as stated in its 19b-4 document submitted to the SEC. Invesco seeks permission for its “Invesco Galaxy Bitcoin ETF” to be listed on the Cboe BZX exchange.

By utilizing professional custodians and other service providers, Invesco’s spot Bitcoin ETF aims to eliminate the need for investors to rely on loosely regulated offshore vehicles, enabling them to better safeguard their principal Bitcoin investments.

Although the SEC has yet to approve a spot Bitcoin ETF, Bloomberg’s senior ETF analyst Eric Balchunas expressed optimism in response to WisdomTree’s filing, attributing it to BlackRock’s influential presence. Balchunas also noted that BlackRock boasts a remarkable track record, with a success rate of “575-1” in ETF approvals from the regulator.

Furthermore, rumors have emerged that Fidelity Investments, a multi-trillion-dollar fund manager overseeing $4.9 trillion in assets, may enter the race to launch its own spot Bitcoin ETF. Arch Public co-founder AP_Abacus mentioned in a tweet that Fidelity Investments could either file its own ETF or consider acquiring Grayscale’s GBTC ETF product.

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