On November 15, BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, officially filed for an Ether exchange-traded fund (ETF) with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Ether ETF (ETH(called the iShares Ethereum Trust) aims to “generally reflect the price movement of Ether,” according to an S-1 filed with the SEC. The iShares brand is affiliated with BlackRock’s ETF products and Bitcoin ETF (Bitcoin) was called iShares Bitcoin Trust. The fund names Coinbase as the custodian of the underlying ETH.
BlackRock’s offer comes about a week after it registered the iShares Ethereum Trust with the Delaware Division of Corporations and about six months after it filed for a Bitcoin ETF.
BlackRock began tracking a spot crypto ETF in 2023, indicating increased interest from institutions in the crypto market. Within six months, it has now joined the growing list of institutions applying for an ETH spot ETF.
Applying for a spot ETF is a two-step process in which the ETF issuer must obtain SEC approval from the Division of Trading and Markets for a 19b-4 filing or from the Division of Corporate Finance for an S-1 filing or prospectus.
The 2023 Ethereum spot ETF race began in early November when the SEC granted Grayscale Investment’s request to convert its Ethereum trust into an ETF.
Even during the last bull cycle, many institutional giants applied for spot crypto ETFs but were rejected by the SEC, saying the size of the crypto market was not enough for a spot ETF.
Related: Excitement over Spot Bitcoin ETF has reignited interest in blockchain gaming
Market experts and ETF analysts estimate that there is a 90% chance that the spot Bitcoin ETF will be approved in early 2024, while the approval of the spot ETH ETF could come later.
The institutional foray into cryptocurrency-based spot ETFs comes amid a recovery in the crypto market, which has regained a significant portion of the ground lost in the recent bear market.
Translation by Walter Rizzo