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BlackRock Files Spot Ether ETF Application

Julia Smith
Last updated: | 2 min read

The world’s largest asset manager, BlackRock, formally filed an application for a spot Ethereum exchange-traded fund on Wednesday, November 15th.

A 2% increase

Filing an S-1 form with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), BlackRock has labeled the exchange-traded fund iShares Ethereum Trust. iShares is the standard name for the asset manager’s exchange-traded fund division.

“The Shares have been designed to remove the obstacles represented by the complexities and operational burdens involved in a direct investment in ether, while at the same time having an intrinsic value that reflects, at any given time, the investment exposure to the price of ether owned by the Trust at such time, less the Trust’s expenses and liabilities,” the filing states. “Although the Shares are not the exact equivalent of a direct investment in ether, they provide investors with an alternative method of achieving investment exposure to the price of ether through the securities market, which may be more familiar to them.”

News of the filing prompted the price of ether to swiftly increase by 2% to $2,080 before re-stabilizing at its normal price point. 

Excitement for ETFs

Earlier this week, an XRP exchange-traded fund application seemingly made by BlackRock made the rounds on social media, spiking XRP’s price by 10%. However, a spokesperson for BlackRock formally denied the rumored application on Monday, November 13th, and the Delaware Department of Justice is currently investigating the matter.

BlackRock’s spot exchange-traded fund application comes shortly after the asset management company filed the iShares Ethereum Trust with the Delaware Department of State Division of Corporations and a filing by Nasdaq for the entity to receive regulatory approval. Coinbase Custody Trust Company has been selected to serve as custodian for the ETF. 

Meanwhile, BlackRock is simultaneously pursuing a spot Bitcoin ETF alongside twelve other applicants including Grayscale Investments, VanEck Bitcoin Trust, Wise Origin Bitcoin Trust, and Invesco Gallery Bitcoin ETF, among others. 

What to expect going forward

Bloomberg ETF research analysts, Eric Balchunas and James Seyffart, previously released data showing an eight-day window wherein the SEC could approve a number of spot Bitcoin ETF applicants. However, with the window slated to close on Friday, November 17th, it looks unlikely. 

Balchunas and Seyffart estimate a 90% chance that spot Bitcoin applicants’ ETF will be approved by January 10th, 2024.

If BlackRock’s spot Ethereum ETF is approved, it could signal a broader interest from more traditional financial firms to position themselves in the crypto space.