May 28, 2024

Exchanges rush to update filings for spot bitcoin funds from asset managers including BlackRock and Grayscale, adding momentum to potential approval

Stock exchanges rushed to file fresh, amended 19b-4 forms for bids from asset managers including BlackRock and Fidelity for spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds, marking the latest move as issuers try and barrel toward the finish line to get the Securities and Exchange Commission’s approval. 

As Friday came to a close, new filings also came in for proposed funds from Grayscale Investments, Valkyrie, ARK 21Shares and Invesco. The Cboe BZX exchange also filed forms for VanEck, WisdomTree, Pando Asset AG and Franklin Templeton.

The moves were significant, as market watchers had been expecting updated filings to come before any kind of approval from the SEC. One source told The Block earlier this week that 19b-4 approvals could likely come mid-to-late next week.

Issuers of the proposed funds would still need their registration statements called, S-1s, or in the case of Grayscale Investments, its shortened S-3, to become effective in order to launch their products.

Grayscale is ‘ready to operate GBTC as an ETF’

“Today’s Amendment No. 2 to NYSE Arca’s Form 19b-4 is another important step towards uplisting GBTC as a spot Bitcoin ETF,” Grayscale wrote in a post on X. “At Grayscale, we continue to work collaboratively with the SEC, and we remain ready to operate GBTC as an ETF upon receipt of regulatory approvals.”

Grayscale had been an outlier in the ongoing approval process that’s seen applications from a dozen other asset managers for spot bitcoin funds because it’s trying to convert its existing flagship GBTC fund into an ETF. While it last submitted an updated S-3 form in October, the fresh filing from the NYSE is notable because it now puts the fund on an equal footing with other applications.

Bitcoin was largely unchanged on the news. The price of the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization declined 1.1% over the past day to $43,852 at 5:55 p.m. ET.

Final approval

The crypto industry has been at the edge of its collective seat, waiting to see if the SEC will approve a spot bitcoin ETF in the coming days. Over the past year, asset managers including Fidelity, BlackRock and others have been vying for a spot bitcoin ETF. 

“We’re not over the finish line yet. But we are damn close,” said Bloomberg Intelligence ETF Research Analyst James Seyffart following the filings on Friday on X. 

(Updates with details throughout.)

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© 2023 The Block. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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