BlackRock Officially files for spot Ethereum ETF with SEC

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In a major development for the cryptocurrency market, BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, has officially submitted a filing to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for a spot Ethereum exchange-traded fund (ETF). This move follows their previous pursuit of a Bitcoin ETF, indicating heightened institutional interest in cryptocurrencies.

Ambitious Pursuit of Ether ETF Approval

The iShares Ethereum Trust aims to track the performance of Ether’s price, as stated in the SEC filing on November 15th. This ambitious step by BlackRock highlights their growing involvement in the digital asset space following their previous push for a spot Bitcoin ETF, creating significant anticipation among investors.

Potential Challenges from Regulators

However, it’s important to remember that many institutional giants have faced difficulties when attempting to launch spot crypto ETFs in the past. One reason is regulators’ concerns about the size of the cryptocurrency market; many claims state the market is still too small to justify approval for spot ETH or BTC ETFs. Despite these claims, BlackRock has pressed ahead with its submission, hoping regulators will recognize the increasing scope and impact of digital assets.

Comparing the Two Filings: iShares Ethereum Trust vs. Proposed Bitcoin ETF

  • Custody: For the proposed iShares Ethereum Trust, Custody Trust Company is named as custodian, while no information regarding custody arrangements was provided for the expected Bitcoin ETF.
  • Benchmark: The Ethereum ETF filing revealed that Kraken subsidiary CF Benchmarks will be used as the benchmark provider for the product, comparing favorably with the benchmark arrangements announced for other Bitcoin ETF applications.
  • Liquidity Providers: The Block reported that trading firms Jane Street and Jump Trading are prepared to provide liquidity for BlackRock’s proposed Bitcoin ETF if it gains regulatory approval, although no information was given on potential liquidity providers for the Ether ETF.

ETH ETF filing

Ethereum Price Reaction: A Muted Response?

The crypto market had eagerly anticipated a surge in Ethereum prices following the announcement of BlackRock’s filing, similar to the reaction observed with Bitcoin price movements upon news of the company’s pursuit of a spot BTC ETF. However, a sustained rally has not materialized so far, with Ethereum price trading sideways above the $2,100 level early on Thursday, indicating that the market may be waiting for more concrete developments before initiating substantial price movements.

Waiting for Regulatory Approval

In addition to Ethereum, BlackRock is also seeking approval from the SEC for its proposed spot Bitcoin ETF. BlackRock CEO Larry Fink has expressed his belief that the recent price rally of Bitcoin is indicative of “pent-up interest in crypto” among investors, suggesting high expectations surrounding the potential approval of digital asset ETFs from major regulators like the SEC.

Crypto Enthusiasm Grows Among Institutional Players

The pursuit of both an Ethereum and Bitcoin ETF by BlackRock represents a clear shift towards greater institutional adoption of cryptocurrencies. As more legacy financial institutions acknowledge the potential of digital assets, these developments could encourage further investment and innovation in the space.

With the submission of its iShares Ethereum Trust filing, BlackRock is demonstrating a commitment to meet the growing demands of crypto-curious investors, playing a significant role in forging the way for broader mainstream acceptance of digital assets. However, the outcome of these filings remains uncertain, as the industry awaits decisions from the SEC and other regulatory bodies. Though this journey may still be fraught with challenges, BlackRock’s willingness to bet on digital assets is an undeniable sign of growing confidence in the potential of cryptocurrencies in the world of finance.


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