BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, has formally submitted its application for an Ether exchange-traded fund (ETF) with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on November 15. The ETF, known as the iShares Ethereum Trust, is designed to mirror the general performance of Ether’s price, as outlined in the S-1 filing with the SEC.
The iShares brand, affiliated with BlackRock’s ETF products, is already recognized in the crypto space through the iShares Bitcoin Trust. Coinbase has been appointed as the custodian for the underlying Ethereum (ETH) in the trust.
This move follows BlackRock’s registration of the iShares Ethereum Trust with Delaware’s Division of Corporations a week prior and nearly six months after the company filed its application for a spot Bitcoin ETF. BlackRock’s initiation of the spot Bitcoin ETF trend in 2023 signaled the increasing interest of institutional players in the cryptocurrency market. The recent filing for a spot Ethereum ETF adds BlackRock to the expanding list of institutions seeking exposure to ETH.
The process of filing for a spot ETF involves obtaining SEC approval from the Trading and Markets division for its 19b-4 filing and the Corporate Finance division for its S-1 filing or prospectus. This development in the spot Ethereum ETF landscape follows the SEC’s acknowledgment of Grayscale Investments’ application to transform its Ethereum trust into an ETF.
During the last bull cycle, several institutional giants attempted to file for crypto spot ETFs, only to face rejections from the SEC, citing concerns about the crypto market’s size not being substantial enough for such offerings.
Market analysts and ETF experts anticipate a high probability of approval for a spot Bitcoin ETF by early 2024, with estimates reaching as high as 90%. Approval for a spot Ether ETF may follow, reflecting the broader trend of institutional interest in crypto-based spot ETFs. This surge in institutional participation aligns with the ongoing recovery of the crypto market, recouping a significant portion of losses incurred during the preceding bear market.