BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, has announced plans to launch an Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF) focused on Ethereum (ETH). This bold strategy marks a significant deepening of BlackRock’s involvement in the cryptocurrency space.
Ethereum’s Price Surge: A Reaction to BlackRock’s Filing
Following the announcement, Ethereum’s ether experienced a notable price surge. It reached a daily high of nearly $2,100. That represented an approximate 3% increase from its value just before the news broke. Although it later retracted slightly, Ethereum still boasted a significant 9% rise compared to its value 24 hours earlier.
BlackRock’s intentions were revealed through a filing by Nasdaq, the renowned U.S. exchange. The plan is to list the ETF on this exchange, pending regulatory approval. Intriguingly, the corporate entity “iShares Ethereum Trust” was recently registered in Delaware, highlighting BlackRock’s ETF division’s role in this venture.
Already known for its attempt to list a Bitcoin ETF, BlackRock is no stranger to the crypto world. Its CEO, Larry Fink, has transitioned from a crypto skeptic to an avid supporter, signaling a significant shift in the company’s approach to digital currencies.
The Role of Coinbase in BlackRock’s Ethereum ETF
As per the filing details, Coinbase, a leading U.S.-based crypto exchange, is set to act as the custodian for the ether held by BlackRock’s ETF. Additionally, the ETF will involve an anonymous third party for handling its cash components.
A key aspect of BlackRock’s strategy includes a market-surveillance agreement with Coinbase. Such partnerships are crucial for gaining approval for ETFs from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Addressing Potential SEC Concerns
In anticipation of possible SEC concerns regarding surveillance-sharing, BlackRock’s filing made a compelling argument. It pointed out that CME Group’s ether futures – already part of existing ETFs – closely mirror spot ETH prices. Therefore, CME’s surveillance should adequately detect spot-market fraud. This, BlackRock argues, should facilitate SEC approval for their Ethereum-based ETF.
BlackRock’s move to create an Ethereum ETF symbolizes a significant milestone in the evolution of cryptocurrency investment. It underscores the growing mainstream acceptance of digital currencies. Moreover, the move highlights the potential for greater accessibility and diversification in investment portfolios.
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