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Bitwise files spot Ethereum ETF application with the SEC

With this, Bitwise joins the waiting list for Ethereum ETF approvals along with BlackRock, Fidelity, and more

Shashank Bhardwaj
Published: Mar 29, 2024 02:40:55 PM IST
Updated: Mar 29, 2024 02:41:31 PM IST

Bitwise files spot Ethereum ETF application with the SEC

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the US approved a host of spot Bitcoin ETFs (exchange-traded funds) in the beginning of January 2024, from well-known financial institutions like BlackRock, Fidelity, and more. In fact, a new Bitcoin spot ETF from Hashdex has also joined the ranks recently- they have converted a Bitcoin futures fund into the new spot ETF to trade under the ticker DEFI.

Followed by the historical success of these BTC funds, the asset management firm Bitwise has knocked at the SEC’s door with an application for a spot Ethereum ETF on March 28, Thursday. It’s to be noted that Bitwise joins the fray quite late indeed- there are several spot ETH ETF applications pending the SEC’s approval already.

The institutions seeking approval to launch Ethereum spot ETFs include BlackRock, Fidelity, Grayscale, Franklin Templeton, VanEck, and Invesco Galaxy, among others.

As for the performance of the Bitcoin ETFs, BlackRock's IBIT and Fidelity's FBTC are leagues ahead of the rest, both having over $10 billion in AUM (assets under management) as of the end of March 2024. Eric Balchunas, a Senior ETF Analyst at Bloomberg, recently pointed out that of 11,338 funds from all over the world in their first 50 trading days, the list of the top 30 holds four of the US Bitcoin ETFs. Of course, the aforementioned IBIT and FBTC take the lead, holding the first and second spots, respectively.

After its spot Bitcoin ETF, Bitwise has filed a Form S-1 registration statement for shares in the aforementioned Ethereum ETF;  based upon a 19b-4 amendment filing with the regulator, Bitwise has plans to list the shares of its ETH spot ETF on NYSE (New York Stock Exchange) Arca.

In the meantime, the market speculates that the SEC may be looking to name ETH a security after its conversion into a proof-of-stake blockchain. This may complicate approvals for Ethereum spot ETFs in the US, delaying their arrival. Expert opinions are divided: while some believe the SEC will give a go ahead to the Ethereum instruments after all, most are expecting them to be hindered.

All eyes are now on the SEC, as their final deadline for the approval of three spot ETH ETF applications approaches in May.

Shashank is the founder of yMedia. He ventured into crypto in 2013 and is an ETH maximalist.
Twitter: @bhardwajshash

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