Leading Wall Street asset managers, BlackRock, Valkyrie, and Van Eck, are in contention to launch the first U.S. spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). They have submitted crucial last-minute amendments to their S-1 forms to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on December 29. These revised submissions are critical for the SEC’s consideration in January 2024 and are updates to their earlier applications for creating Bitcoin ETFs.

Van Eck’s Revised Application

Van Eck’s updated application emphasizes a cash-only model for creating and redeeming shares in its proposed ETF, aligning with the SEC’s preferences. This means that authorized financial firms, or ‘Authorized Participants’ (APs), will only use cash for transactions involving shares of the trust.

BlackRock’s Filing and Partnerships

BlackRock’s amended filing identifies Jane Street and JPMorgan Securities as authorized participants in its Bitcoin ETF proposal. BlackRock, which had already opted for a cash-only model, was also the first to use JPMorgan’s Tokenized Collateral Network service in October. BlackRock initially filed for a spot BTC ETF in June, followed by Valkyrie a week later, with BlackRock representatives having met with the SEC twice in December.

Valkyrie’s Updated Filing

Valkyrie, in its revised S-1, named Jane Street Capital and Cantor Fitzgerald as authorized participants. Additionally, StoneX Financial is designated as the lead market maker for its ETF.

Rapid Developments and SEC Decision

Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas commented on BlackRock’s amendment, hinting at its strong position in the race for SEC approval. Balchunas anticipates the SEC’s decision on the outstanding spot Bitcoin ETF filings by January 10, 2024, with trading likely to begin shortly after approval.

Wide Range of Competitors

Apart from BlackRock, Van Eck, and Valkyrie, other prominent firms like Grayscale, Bitwise, WisdomTree, Invesco, Galaxy, Fidelity, ARK Invest, Franklin, Hashdex, Global X ETFs, and Pando Asset have also submitted S-1 applications for spot Bitcoin ETFs.

The race to launch the first U.S. spot Bitcoin ETF is intensifying, with major asset managers vying for SEC approval. Their recent amendments are a strategic move to align with regulatory preferences, setting the stage for a potential breakthrough in the crypto ETF market.

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