Blackrock has broken the ice. The world’s largest asset manager wants to launch a spot Bitcoin ETF. Now some of the world’s biggest investment houses are following suit with their crypto plans.
Has Blackrock started a new crypto bull run? Surprisingly, the world’s largest asset manager filed an application for a spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) last week. If approved, it would be the first spot crypto ETF in the United States.
Blackrock’s push has not only given Bitcoin a substantial boost in the cryptocurrency market. As a result, the price of the world’s oldest cryptocurrency is again trading at around $30,000, the highest since late April. Blackrock also has reignited institutional interest in digital assets.
Meanwhile, other investment giants such as Wisdom Tree and Invesco have followed suit, resubmitting paperwork for their own Bitcoin ETFs after being rejected by the SEC. So far, the regulator has only approved applications for bitcoin futures ETFs. Wisdom Tree and Invesco have applied for a listing on the Cboe BZX Exchange for their bitcoin ETFs.
The regulator has cited several reasons in the past for not allowing bitcoin spot ETFs. It said the funds were not designed to “prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts” or “protect investors and the public interest.”
It is New York-based Wisdom Tree’s third attempt to gain approval for a Bitcoin ETF. Previous applications, filed in December 2021 and October 2022, had been rejected by the SEC due to fraud and market manipulation concerns.
In its latest application, Wisdom Tree now argues that “the Bitcoin market is now so mature that it is substantially comparable in efficiency and size to established global equity, bond and commodity markets.”
The company also plans to partner with a U.S.-based spot trading platform for Bitcoins. The move reflects Blackrock’s approach to addressing the SEC’s concerns by establishing robust oversight mechanisms to detect and prevent price distortions and manipulation.
Shortly after, Invesco applied a similar Bitcoin spot ETF product. In the “Invesco Galaxy Bitcoin ETF” filing, the investment company wrote that the lack of a BTC ETF in the U.S. exposes investors to significant risk. This could drive investors into riskier alternatives, as evidenced by bankruptcies such as FTX, Celsius Network, BlockFi and Voyager Digital Holdings.
Invesco had previously tried to launch a bitcoin ETF through its partnership with Galaxy in 2021 but then abandoned those plans when it became clear that the SEC would not approve it.