BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, began to take steps toward offering a spot Ethereum exchange-traded fund (ETF) on Nov. 9.
The asset management company registered the fund, titled the iShares Ethereum Trust, through Delaware’s Division of Corporations on that date.
Nasdaq also proposed an accompanying rule change through the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). That filing would allow Nasdaq to list and trade shares of BlackRock’s spot Ethereum ETF if the fund is indeed approved.
Nasdaq’s filing indicates that the ETF’s underlying trust will be composed of Ethereum (ETH) held by a custodian — namely the major cryptocurrency company Coinbase. The filing also addresses issues previously raised by regulators, such as surveillance-sharing agreement requirements and the risk of market manipulation.
Both Ethereum (ETH) and Bitcoin (BTC) have experienced noticeable price gains alongside the news. As of Nov. 12, Ethereum (ETH) was up 8.5% over a week-long period, while Bitcoin was up 5.9% over the same period. Many other tokens also saw gains.
Spot ETFs are aimed at traditional investors
BlackRock’s latest filing follows and closely resembles an application for a spot Bitcoin ETF that it filed in June 2023. That application is still pending and will not necessarily gain approval from securities regulators, who have rejected numerous earlier funds.
However, FOX Business correspondent Charles Gasparino has suggested that BlackRock is confident that the fund will be approved by January 2024.
Any spot crypto ETF that becomes available in the U.S. will mark a major milestone whether it involves Bitcoin or Ethereum. An ETF of this type will allow traditional investors to invest in a product that tracks the value of cryptocurrency indirectly, avoiding the need to consider on-chain fees, retail exchanges, or standard crypto wallets.
ETF managers, meanwhile, will invest in cryptocurrency directly as the basis of ETF, thereby creating demand for Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Despite widespread hopes for an upcoming spot crypto ETF, the SEC has not approved any such ETF to date. It has, however, approved various crypto futures ETFs in the past.