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Two more U.S.-based asset managers moved to file for spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in the wake of the investment giant BlackRock making a similar application last week.
Bitcoin ETFs are investment vehicles that track the price of the leading cryptocurrency, aiming to provide investors with exposure to the price movements of Bitcoin without requiring them to directly own and store the underlying asset. Instead of purchasing and holding Bitcoin themselves, investors can buy shares of the ETF, which represents ownership of a pool of Bitcoin held by the fund.
ETF provider WisdomTree re-submitted an application requesting regulatory approval for the launch of the WisdomTree Bitcoin Trust on Tuesday, June 20. The trust is intended to be listed on the Cboe BZX Exchange under the ticker symbol “BTCW.”
As stated in its filing, WisdomTree's primary investment objective is to achieve exposure to the price movements of Bitcoin while taking into account the expenses and obligations associated with operating the ETF. The trust plans to determine the daily value of the shares based on the CF Bitcoin US Settlement Price, which consolidates trading data from major Bitcoin spot exchanges.
New York-based WisdomTree, which currently holds around $93 billion in assets under management, has made two previous attempts to secure approval for a spot Bitcoin ETF. Both applications were rejected by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in December 2021 and October 2022, respectively.
Invesco joins the race
Invesco, another major investment company with as much as $1.49 trillion under its management as of May 2023, followed with its own application for a spot Bitcoin ETF later on Tuesday. Invesco initially teamed up with Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital to file for the Invesco Galaxy Bitcoin ETF in September 2021, and now seeks to reintroduce the instrument.
In its filing, the Atlanta-based firm argues that the lack of a spot Bitcoin ETF “exposes U.S. investor assets to significant risk” as they “are forced to find alternative exposure through generally riskier means.”
“For instance, many U.S. investors that held their digital assets in accounts at FTX, Celsius Network LLC, BlockFi Inc. and Voyager Digital Holdings, Inc. have become unsecured creditors in the insolvencies of those entities,” reads the filing.
To that end, approval of a spot Bitcoin ETF, according to Invesco, “would represent a major win for the protection of U.S. investors” seeking exposure to crypto assets.
The SEC has repeatedly denied or postponed decisions on a physical Bitcoin ETF, raising concerns over the cryptocurrency’s volatility and risk of market manipulation. The new wave of applications, spurred by BlackRock’s filing last week, can be seen as a sign of asset management giants acknowledging the growing demand for regulated investment vehicles in the crypto space.
Whether this changes the regulator’s stance on the matter remains to be seen, though.
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