Nasdaq Takes the Lead: Filing Unveils BlackRock's Foray into Ethereum ETF Territory


In a noteworthy development, BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager, has taken a significant step into the cryptocurrency arena with the initiation of a spot ether ETF named iShares Ethereum Trust. Nasdaq, filing the proposal on Thursday, acted swiftly following BlackRock's registration of an entity in Delaware, signaling a deepening interest in the Ethereum market.

Ethereum ETF Details

The proposed iShares Ethereum Trust aims to utilize Coinbase Custody Trust Company as its custodian and will rely on the CME CF Ether-Dollar Reference Rate - New York Variant. While BlackRock refrained from providing comments on the fund, Nasdaq's filing detailed that the trust's investment objective is to mirror the overall performance of the ether price.

Market Impact: Ether Surges

Ether experienced a significant surge, rising by 9.9% to $2,066 following the news of BlackRock's Delaware entity registration. This surge underlines the market's positive response to the growing involvement of institutional giants like BlackRock in the crypto space.

Ongoing SEC Proceedings: Spotlight on Spot Bitcoin ETF

BlackRock, currently awaiting a decision on its application for a spot bitcoin ETF from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), has now set its sights on the rapidly growing Ethereum market. The regulatory landscape remains a key factor, with the SEC having delayed decisions on existing applications for spot bitcoin funds multiple times.

Industry Landscape: Competition and Optimism

Several major asset managers, including Grayscale, Ark Invest, ProShares, and Valkyrie, have also submitted applications for spot ether ETFs. However, the approval process remains uncertain, with the SEC's historical delays in decisions on similar bitcoin-focused applications.

Legal Precedent: Grayscale's Victory

Nasdaq's filing referenced a recent legal victory for Grayscale Investments, where judges mandated the SEC to reevaluate the firm's bid for a spot bitcoin ETF. This development addressed the SEC's distinct treatment of spot and futures ETFs, fostering optimism within the industry for an eventual spot bitcoin product.

The Logical Continuation: Nasdaq's Perspective

Nasdaq highlighted that since the SEC has approved futures-based ether ETFs, it logically follows that spot ether products, such as the iShares Ethereum Trust, should also receive approval. This assertion positions BlackRock and Nasdaq at the forefront of the evolving intersection between traditional finance and the burgeoning cryptocurrency market.

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