Jan 5, 2024 - Business

Bitcoin ETF hopefuls amend filings ahead of key decision

Illustration of a bitcoin peeking out behind a curtain

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Key filings for a spot bitcoin exchange traded fund rolled in on Friday, showing progress issuers are making ahead of a final decision, with a few steps remaining.

Why it matters: Two things need to happen before a shop can launch a bitcoin ETF. The issuer needs its S-1 filing to be declared effective by the Securities and Exchanges Commission, and get the nod on what are called 19b-4 filings, which exchanges submit to get permission to list non-standard ETFs.

State of play: The Nasdaq submitted amended 19b-4 filings for Valkyrie and BlackRock, while the NYSE submitted one for Grayscale, Bitwise, Hashdex; meanwhile, Cboe submitted for Ark 21Shares and Invesco/Galaxy.

  • More of these filings are to be expected, with the SEC staff reportedly telling exchanges and issuers to do so, according to a Bloomberg article citing four people familiar with the matter.

Zoom in: One obvious change in the amended filing for BlackRock's iShares Bitcoin Trust is a technical detail that will likely echo across the others: "The Authorized Participants will deliver only cash to create shares and will receive only cash when redeeming shares."

What we're watching: Don't get on pins and needles until the SEC actually calls a vote, which is shaping up to take place next week.

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