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Spot Bitcoin ETF Issuers Move One Step Closer to Potential Approval – Unchained

BlackRock, ARK Invest and several other potential issuers filed amended SEC filings on Friday that would put in place stock exchange rule changes needed for the spot Bitcoin ETFs to be approved.

blackrock logo in background with a gold bitcoin in the foreground

BlackRock was among the spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) hopefuls who filed amended forms late Friday.

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Posted January 5, 2024 at 6:53 pm EST.

Asset management giants BlackRock and Ark Invest were among the spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) hopefuls who filed amended Forms 19b-4 late Friday, an important step closer to a potential approval by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The new filings, which are proposals for rule changes on stock exchanges to make way for the ETFs, follow weeks of meetings between the SEC and the ETF issuers,

Bloomberg reported that the SEC had told exchanges and issuers to submit the amended filing as early as Friday, citing sources familiar with the matter. The sources said that the SEC will vote on the rule change documents next week. If those documents are approved, the SEC only needs to approve the amended S-1 prospectus documents before the ETFs can begin trading. 

“Yeah it’s basically done. Latest I’m hearing (from multiple sources) that final S-1s are due 8am on Monday as SEC is trying to line everyone up for Jan 11th launch. That said, I still want to hear it from the SEC to call it official,” wrote Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas on Twitter. 

The full list of updated 19b-4 included BlackRock, ARK/21 Shares, VanEck, Bitwise, Hashdex, WisdomTree, Franklin Templeton, Fidelity, Valkyrie and Grayscale, which is looking to convert its Grayscale Bitcoin Trust to an ETF. 

During an X Spaces with The Block earlier on Friday, VanEck head of digital assets research Matthew Sigel said he’d heard from a source that BlackRock has $2 billion of capital lined up from existing Bitcoin holders that want to move into the spot Bitcoin ETF as soon as it’s available. 

Read more: Most US Financial Advisers Doubt a Spot Bitcoin ETF Will Be Approved in 2024

Last month, BlackRock and ARK Invest updated their S-1 filings to include cash rather than in-kind redemption. Cash redemptions mean the ETF issuer has to convert the bitcoin back into cash before giving it to traders. The model is widely used in the ETF industry, and among bitcoin futures ETFs, and the SEC generally feels it is safer.

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