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Boston-based investment giant Fidelity has amended its Bitcoin spot exchange-traded fund application as asset mangers race to be the first to bring a Bitcoin ETF to market.
The fund manager addressed a number of topics in its amendment but largely focused on the risk associated with such a product, which would give investors exposure to the digital asset via shares traded on a stock exchange.
Crypto market investors have been waiting for a Bitcoin ETF for nearly a decade. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has shot down applications for such a product at every turn. But recent developments have analysts now saying a Bitcoin ETF is closer than ever before—and are bullish on what that will mean for the battered crypto market.
An ETF is an investment vehicle that tracks the value of an underlying asset, like gold, foreign currencies, or Bitcoin. Because it makes it easier for traditional investors to gain exposure to Bitcoin, market observers believe a Bitcoin ETF will bring a rush of fresh capital into the market. It’s a big reason why big players like Fidelity are entering the fray.
Applications for a Bitcoin ETF—or any ETFs—go through a number of drafts before approval. The SEC has delayed approving or denying applications filed this year because they haven’t been clear enough for the regulator.
“There is no assurance that use or acceptance of Bitcoin will continue to grow,” said one line in the amendment. It went on to warn about the volatility of the crypto markets—particularly in light of the collapse of digital asset exchange FTX.
The major crypto exchange collapsed last November, sending the price of every major crypto asset tumbling as panicked investors headed for the exits. Former FTX CEO and co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried is now on trial and facing eight criminal charges related to the collapse of the exchange.
“In response to these events [FTX’s collapse], the digital asset markets have experienced extreme price volatility and declines in liquidity, and regulatory and enforcement scrutiny has increased, including from the DOJ, the SEC, the CFTC, the White House and Congress,” the amendment read.
It added that “continued disruption and instability in the digital asset markets as these events develop, including further declines in the trading prices and liquidity of Bitcoin, could have a material adverse effect” on the shares in Fidelity’s ETF.
Fidelity’s Wise Origin Bitcoin Trust is just one of many Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) applications the SEC is currently reviewing.
Major Wall Street players BlackRock, VanEck, and WisdomTree have all applied to the top regulator for such an investment vehicle.
A spot Bitcoin ETF doesn’t yet exist in the States—crypto futures ETFs do—because the SEC has been reluctant to approve one. The regulator claims that the price of Bitcoin being open to manipulation is one of the main reasons.
But experts say that it’s now only a matter of time before one gets the green light after the world’s biggest fund manager, BlackRock, applied for a Bitcoin ETF of its own, and fund manager Grayscale scored an August victory against the SEC where a federal judge sided with the firm over its application to convert its fund into an ETF.
Analysts at Bloomberg Intelligence have said that there is a 90% chance a Bitcoin ETF will get approved in January.
In a report last month, Fidelity Digital Assets, the firm’s digital asset arm, said that Bitcoin was “a superior form of money.”
Bitcoin at the time of writing was trading for $28,257, down 1% in the past 24 hours but up over seven days by 4%. It’s down 59% from its all-time high of 69,044, according to CoinGecko.
Edited by Guillermo Jimenez