BitcoinBTC 0.0% and crypto prices—including major coins ethereum and XRPXRP 0.0%—have rocketed higher in recent months as crypto braces for what could be its biggest-ever year in 2024.
The bitcoin price has topped $40,000 per bitcoin for the first time since early 2022, largely thanks to a huge BlackRock bombshell that pushed up the wider ethereum, XRP and crypto market.
Now, as wild rumors swirl around a secret sovereign bitcoin bid, BlackRock has quietly adjusted its landmark bitcoin spot exchange-traded fund (ETF) application to allow Wall Street giants such as JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs access.
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In a late November filing, BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager that looks after around $10 trillion on behalf of clients, updated its bitcoin spot ETF filing to allow Wall Street banks to act as "authorized participants," allowing them to bypass restrictions that prevent them from holding bitcoin and crypto on their own balance sheets.
The change comes as BlackRock and its rivals in the race to get a bitcoin spot ETF to market, including Fidelity, Grayscale Investment and Franklin Templeton, have met with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to thrash out the details of how the ETFs would work ahead of the next approval "window" opening.
"If the SEC accepts this revised, dual model of create and redeem with cash and physical, that means the liquidity that supports the ETF shares when they trade would be increased, because obviously, you have more potential [authorized participants] as part of the process," Sui Chung, the chief executive at CF Benchmarks, which is involved in BlackRock's bitcoin spot ETF bid, told Coindesk.
"And although trading firms like Jane Street, etc. are large and are experts, they fundamentally don't have the trillion-dollar-plus balance sheets that large American banks have."
SEC chair Gary Gensler has said that the SEC is taking a "new look" at the "between eight and a dozen filings" for a spot bitcoin ETF.
"We had in the past denied a number of these applications, but the courts here in the District of Columbia weighed in on that. And so we’re taking a new look at this based upon those court rulings," Gensler told CNBC, fueling fresh speculation the agency could be poised to approve a fully-fledged bitcoin spot ETF.
Asset manager Grayscale won a legal victory over the SEC this year when a court ordered the agency to reconsider Grayscale's bid to convert its flagship bitcoin trust into a bitcoin spot ETF, taken by many to be a sign the SEC will ultimately green light the move.
Source : Forbes / Dec 16, 2023