BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, has officially filed for a spot Ether exchange-traded fund (ETF) with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on November 15. The ETF, named the iShares Ethereum Trust, seeks to reflect the performance of the price of Ether (ETH), and Coinbase is appointed as the custodian for the underlying ETH.
This move by BlackRock follows its registration of the iShares Ethereum Trust with Delaware’s Division of Corporations nearly a week earlier and comes approximately six months after filing its spot Bitcoin ETF application. The iShares brand is well-known for BlackRock’s ETF products, including the iShares Bitcoin Trust.
The filing for a spot ETF involves a two-step process where the issuer must obtain SEC approval for its 19b-4 filing from the Trading and Markets division and its S-1 filing or prospectus from the Corporate Finance division.
BlackRock’s entry into the spot Ether ETF space comes amid a broader trend in the industry. The rush for spot Ethereum ETFs gained momentum in early November when the SEC acknowledged Grayscale Investment’s application to convert its Ethereum trust into an ETF.
During the last bull cycle, several institutional giants filed for crypto spot ETFs, only to face rejection from the SEC, citing concerns about the size of the crypto market. Analysts now predict a higher likelihood of approval for a spot Bitcoin ETF by early 2024, with approval for a spot Ether ETF potentially following afterward.
This institutional push into cryptocurrency-based spot ETFs aligns with the recovery phase of the crypto market, regaining significant ground lost during the last bear market. The move by BlackRock reflects the growing interest of institutional players in expanding their exposure to digital assets beyond Bitcoin.
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