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The Race to Bitcoin ETF: Here Are All the Dates to Watch Including BlackRock’s

Published July 26, 2023 9:24 AM
Teuta Franjkovic
Published July 26, 2023 9:24 AM
Key Takeaways
  • Many financial firms are preparing to provide Bitcoin ETFs.
  • Despite being the last to file, one of the biggest names on the list, BlackRock, is planning to receive responses on par with others
  • A BlackRock Bitcoin ETF might be the biggest ETF launch ever if the SEC authorizes it
  • Analysts think Bitcoin might rise to $180,000 before the anticipated halving in April 2024

Blackrock, a well-known worldwide investment and management company, officially applied to the SEC in June of this year for permission to launch its own Bitcoin ETF, which the iShares Bitcoin Trust will administer. As it has done for years, the SEC rejected this first submission. BlackRock charged once more a month after renewing the application and taking SEC observations into account.

However, it wasn’t only Blackrock that was interested (again) in setting up such a fund. Many other financial institutions, previously denied by the SEC multiple times, reiterated their applications.

ETF dates
Credit: @JSeyff/Twitter

Key dates in the fight for approval include deadlines for the ARK 21Shares Bitcoin ETF, BlackRock’s iShares coin Trust, Bitwise’s Bitcoin ETF, Van Eck Bitcoin Trust, Wisdomtree BitcoinTrust, and many others, according to a tweet  from renowned ETF analyst James Seyffart.

The second deadline for ARK 21Shares is set on August 13. This early deadline could provide ARK 21Shares with a competitive advantage.

On September 1, Bitwise has its first deadline.

The initial deadline of September 2 is shared by a sizable group of issuers, including the iShares Coin Trust by BlackRock and several others.

These issuers might face a collective judgment day due to being grouped together, which might affect the SEC’s decision-making process.

The Valkyrie Bitcoin Fund‘s first deadline is set for September 4. To potentially learn from the results of the earlier deadlines puts Valkyrie significantly behind the remainder of the field.

BlackRock At the Forefront Of the ETF Competition

Since it would offer a more accessible and regulated way to invest in cryptocurrencies without dealing with the complexities of crypto wallets and exchanges, investors have been clamoring for an ETF linked to Bitcoin. BlackRock, one of the biggest names on the list, filed last but is expected to receive a response on par with those of other applicants who did so far earlier.

Seyffart explained  that although BlackRock’s prospectus filing dates might be later, all others had already been rejected by the SEC in the 19b-4 process once or even more than once, so their timing may not be as late as it seems.

With this wave, BlackRock may be at the forefront of the ETF competition. A lawsuit against the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is one of the ways Grayscale’s GBTC, a well-known Bitcoin investment product, is striving for ETF designation.

The judges’ judgment is anticipated within the next two months. If GBTC prevails in its legal battle with the SEC, some cryptocurrency aficionados think that it might become the first Bitcoin ETF.

Seyffart has cautioned that Grayscale might not be allowed to convert to an ETF even if it wins its legal battle.

After Years of SEC Rejections, BlackRock’s ETF May Change the BTC Landscape

A financial tool, also known as an exchange-traded fund, tracks the performance of a specific index, industry, commodity, or asset. Trading them on conventional stock exchanges enables investors to obtain exposure to these assets.

These goods are widely available, particularly in the United States. The Security Exchange Commission and other regulators have been preventing a Bitcoin ETF for years, despite the existence of a thriving ETF industry. The coming months could see a change in this situation.

A Bitcoin ETF was strongly desired in the cryptocurrency industry in 2018, but it was also one of the businesses pursuing its approval that failed the most.

After prices reached their highest point ever in 2017 and entered a downturn phase in 2018, the narrative surrounding institutional participation gained popularity and an ETF’s requirement. Even after major corporations like Tesla or MicroStrategy entered the market, it never happened.

Can ETF Creation Be Denied Again?

In the opinion of Gabor Gurbacs, Advisor at VanEck and Tether, there are no good enough reasons for the SEC to reject the creation of a Bitcoin ETF.

Gurbacs has first-hand knowledge of this because global investment firm VanEck has an active spot Bitcoin ETF application.

“The SEC cited concerns about potential market manipulation, custody issues, and the overall maturity of the underlying market,” he said.

The direct ownership of an underlying asset, such as Bitcoin, is represented by a spot Bitcoin ETF. When you purchase a share of a spot ETF, the fund buys an equivalent asset quantity, giving you almost a one-to-one exposure (fees excluded), explained Gurbacs.

The acceptance of a local spot ETF in the US could affect the price of Bitcoin and how traditional investors view the asset, while also delivering a highly regulated investment product that allays any SEC worries.

Gurbacs also asserted that by giving people and institutions a well-known and generally regulated way to get exposure to Bitcoin, the ETF  might increase the number of investors in the currency. It probably would increase liquidity and enhance price discovery. Second, it might promote institutional adoption, which might help stabilize the market and reduce price volatility.

Although it’s impossible to predict when a spot Bitcoin ETF would bear, the situation is a little different than it was in 2018. For instance, El Salvador legalized Bitcoin in 2021, and a number of businesses are already stockpiling it or using it for treasury or investment management.

This new trend includes BlackRock’s interest, and the acceptance of its application might completely alter the way people play the Bitcoin game.

Fundstrat: The price of Bitcoin Could Jump to $180,000

Before the cryptocurrency’s anticipated halving in April 2024, the price of Bitcoin may increase by 521% from present levels to $180,000, according to a Fundstrat report .

Although the daily demand for Bitcoin is approximately $25 million, the daily mining incentives are also approximately $25 million, according to the financial research firm, this could alter with the prospective introduction of a Bitcoin ETF.

According to the report, a Bitcoin ETF could increase daily demand for Bitcoin by an additional $100 million. The price of Bitcoin would need to climb significantly to reach an equilibrium between buyers and sellers given this increase and the April 2024 halving, which is scheduled to reduce daily mining earnings to $12 million.

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