A unit of the world’s largest asset manager BlackRock, called iShares, submitted an application for a spot bitcoin ETF to SEC on June 15. So far, SEC has rejected numerous attempts by other fund companies to launch a bitcoin ETF in the United States.
In the documents, iShares is applying for the name iShares Bitcoin Trust to manage bitcoin held by a custodian. BlackRock has selected Coinbase as the custodian.
Although the SEC has given the green light to a number of futures bitcoin ETFs, it has conspicuously rejected other efforts by fund management companies to launch a bitcoin spot ETF. Proposals from Grayscale, VanEck and WisdomTree, among others, were rejected.
Still, it could be a challenge for SEC to reject a proposal from BlackRock, as it has more than $10 trillion in assets under management (AUM), as reported by CoinDesk. The company’s impressive stature and the influence of its CEO Larry Fink could rival that of SEC and its chair, Gary Gensler.
Sui Chung, CEO of CF Benchmarks, a subsidiary of crypto exchange Kraken, commented on the news:
An estimated 20% of Americans have now owned bitcoin at some point. BlackRock’s proposed ETF potentially offers the other 80% an option that is altogether more familiar and accessible. BlackRock’s increasing engagement shows Bitcoin continues to be an asset of interest for some of the world’s largest financial institutions.
The filling comes amid regulatory action against cryptocurrencies, particularly lawsuits against the largest crypto exchanges Binance and Coinbase, the latter of which was chosen as the custodian for the iShares Bitcoin Trust.
Like any positive news in a market, it led to a rise in the bitcoin price. The news of the ETF application created optimism among bitcoin investors and led to a slight increase in the Bitcoin price, which stands at $25.593 at the time of writing, according to CoinMarketCap.
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