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Cryptogambling / BlackRock to launch spot Bitcoin ETF in October, analyst says

BlackRock to launch spot Bitcoin ETF in October, analyst says

Publish Date: 24/10/2023
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Eric Balchunas, senior ETF Analyst at Bloomberg, shared on X about BlackRock’s potential launch of a Bitcoin ETF in October. He said the world’s largest asset manager was planning to seed initial funding for this month.

“BlackRock stating in their recent spot Bitcoin ETF amendment that they are seeding the ETF in October. Don’t want to read that much into it but it is new info not in original filing so noteworthy (esp bc they BlackRock). Great catch by Scott,” Balchiunas said.

Meanwhile, Scott Johnsson, an investor at Van Buren Capital, discovered that BlackRock had obtained a CUSIP number for the ETF, a crucial identifier for securities during issuance and trade settlement.

“So two things caught my eye from the latest iShares (Blackrock) S-1 amendment: – They’ve obtained a CUSIP in prep for a launch – They may be looking to seed with cash this month (which is earlier than I would’ve thought, but may be nothing),” said Johnsson on X.

BlackRock’s Bitcoin ETF listing hints at possible launch

The iShares Bitcoin ETF proposed by BlackRock is now listed on the Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation (DTCC). Balchunas mentioned that the DTCC listing is a standard part of the process for launching a cryptocurrency ETF.

The iShares Bitcoin ETF, with the ticker symbol IBTC, has dropped to $34,448 and will potentially be listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange.

Balchunas suggested that BlackRock might have received SEC approval for the ETF or could be preparing for such approval. The SEC has until January 10, 2024, to decide, considering the date of BlackRock’s application.

So far, the SEC has not approved spot Bitcoin or Ether ETFs, but it began allowing investment products linked to Bitcoin futures in October 2021.

Besides BlackRocks, the SEC has received filings from Fidelity, ARK Invest, VanEck, Invesco and others. It has postponed its decision twice, with the primary deadlines set for January 2024.

The SEC was scheduled to decide on these ETF applications by September 4. However, it extended the deadline by 45 days. The SEC has the authority to delay its verdict on such proposals for a maximum of 240 days. The SEC had previously extended Cathie Wood’s Ark Invest proposal deadline.

According to Cointelegraph, if BlackRock’s application is approved, it could pave the way for several spot crypto ETF applications currently under SEC review, including those from ARK Investment, Fidelity and Valkyrie.

One example of this potential shift is the listing of BTCC, which occurred because a U.S. appellate court enforced a decision made on August 29, compelling the SEC to review a spot Bitcoin ETF application from Grayscale Investments, which it had denied.

Experts predict the potential establishment of BlackRock’s Bitcoin spot ETF following Grayscale’s victory against the SEC.

On the other hand, Grayscale’s win boosted Bitcoin’s price by seven percent, pushing it past $28,000. However, the SEC’s delay in seven other cases also had a negative impact, causing a drop below $26,000. Bitcoin declined by 4.62 percent within the past 24 hours, reaching $25,988.

The price fluctuations reflect the industry’s interest in Bitcoin ETFs. Ric Edelman, the founder of the U.S.-based think tank Digital Assets Council of Financial Professionals, mentioned that if the SEC approves them, it could lead to even more significant increases in crypto prices.

“Around half of the nation’s financial advisors in the United States personally own Bitcoin, but only 12% are recommending Bitcoin to their clients,” said Edelman. “And the primary reason that advisors are not recommending Bitcoin is because there isn’t an ETF.”

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