BlackRock awaits approval of the Bitcoin spot ETF: the decision is expected on Wednesday

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BlackRock anticipates approval from the SEC for its request for a spot Bitcoin ETF in the next week, as reported by Fox Business. 

Concurrently, several stock exchanges have presented updated versions of the 19b-4 forms related to Bitcoin ETFs proposed by major asset managers, including Fidelity, Grayscale Investments, Valkyrie, ARK 21Shares, and Invesco.

Let’s see below all the details. 

BlackRock’s optimism for SEC approval on Bitcoin spot ETF

As anticipated, the long wait for the approval of an Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF) that allows direct trading of bitcoin, known as a bitcoin spot ETF, could come to an end as early as this week. 

According to Fox Business, BlackRock, the world’s largest asset management company and one of the candidates to bring a bitcoin spot ETF to the market, expects its request to be approved by next Wednesday.

In addition to BlackRock, several companies filed updated 19b-4 documents on Friday for proposed bitcoin spot ETFs, including Grayscale Investments, Valkyrie, Invesco, ARK, and 21Shares.

Last week, the Cboe BZX exchange also filed forms for VanEck, WisdomTree, Pando Asset AG, and Franklin Templeton.

The approval of Bitcoin spot ETFs is widely anticipated by the cryptocurrency community, which hopes to attract billions of new investments in the sector.

The recent increase in the price of Bitcoin highlights the market’s enthusiasm for the idea of exchange-traded products that hold Bitcoin instead of solely speculating on the price through futures contracts.

On the other hand, cryptocurrency skeptics emphasize the excessive volatility and lack of regulation of Bitcoin, believing that this could compromise market stability. 

In a letter sent to the SEC, the non-profit, non-partisan organization Better Markets, committed to greater financial regulation, defined the approval of bitcoin spot ETFs as “a regulatory mistake of historical proportions.”

New 19b-4 Forms filed by BlackRock, Fidelity, and others

As previously mentioned, exchanges have expedited the filing of revised 19b-4 forms for proposals of exchange-traded funds on bitcoin. 

These come from important asset managers like BlackRock and Fidelity, in a final move as issuers strive to obtain approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

In addition, by the end of Friday, new documents related to the funds proposed by Grayscale Investments, Valkyrie, Invesco, and ARK, along with 21Shares, have also been filed.

These developments are of particular significance, as market observers had predicted the submission of updated documents ahead of any possible approval by the SEC. 

Sources indicate that, reportedly at the beginning of the week, approvals of the 19b-4 forms could likely materialize between the middle and the end of next week.

However, the issuers of the proposed funds will have to wait for their registration statements, called S-1 or, in the case of Grayscale Investments, its abbreviated S-3, to become effective before they can launch their products on the market.

Grayscale’s steps forward for the Bitcoin ETF

Grayscale has announced on X that the recently filed amendment number 2 to the 19b-4 form at NYSE Arca represents a significant step towards the inclusion of GBTC as a spot Bitcoin ETF. 

The company reaffirms its commitment to collaborate with the SEC, remaining ready to manage GBTC as an ETF once the necessary regulatory approvals are obtained.

Grayscale emerges as an exception in the ongoing approval process, characterized by the requests of numerous other asset managers for the creation of spot funds based on bitcoin. 

The peculiarity of Grayscale lies in its aspiration to convert the renowned GBTC fund into an ETF. Despite having submitted the latest updated S-3 form in October, the significant filing made by NYSE has now placed the fund on an equal footing with other requests.

The cryptocurrency industry is currently suspended in uncertainty, awaiting the outcome of the SEC’s decision on whether or not to approve a bitcoin spot ETF in the coming days. Over the past year, asset managers, including Fidelity, BlackRock, and others, have been competing to obtain approval for a bitcoin spot ETF.

James Seyffart, ETF research analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, in response to the documents presented on Friday regarding X, stated the following: 

“We haven’t crossed the finish line yet, but we have definitely gotten closer.”