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In a significant move within the financial landscape, Nasdaq has officially filed a 19b-4 document for BlackRock’s proposed iShares Ethereum Trust ETF. The renowned asset management giant, BlackRock, has been confirmed to be actively developing a spot ether ETF, with the recent filing shedding light on the entity’s name, the iShares Ethereum Trust.
This development unfolded shortly after BlackRock submitted the necessary paperwork to establish an entity in Delaware, underlining the asset manager’s escalating interest in the cryptocurrency sector. Notably, BlackRock is currently awaiting a crucial decision on its application for a spot bitcoin ETF from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
The proposed iShares Ethereum Trust ETF aims to mirror the performance of the ether cryptocurrency, with Nasdaq disclosing that Coinbase Custody Trust Company would serve as the custodian for the fund. Additionally, the ETF is set to utilize the CME CF Ether-Dollar Reference Rate – New York Variant.
Despite inquiries, BlackRock opted not to comment on the fund earlier in the day when approached by The Block.
Ether Market Reaction
The news of BlackRock’s Delaware entity filing had an immediate impact on the ether market, with the cryptocurrency surging by 9.9% to reach $2,066 at 4:43 p.m. ET, according to data from CoinGecko.
Industry-Wide Interest in Ether ETFs
BlackRock is not alone in pursuing ether ETFs, as several other major asset management firms, including Grayscale, Ark Invest, ProShares, and Valkyrie, have also filed applications for spot ether ETFs. However, any potential approval is expected to undergo a thorough regulatory process, and historical delays by the SEC in existing spot bitcoin ETF applications highlight the cautious approach.
Nasdaq’s Rationale for Approval
Nasdaq’s filing referenced a recent legal victory for Grayscale Investments, where three judges mandated a re-review of the SEC’s stance on a spot bitcoin ETF. This legal development addressed the regulatory body’s differential treatment of spot and futures ETFs, instilling optimism in the industry regarding the possibility of a spot bitcoin product.
Nasdaq argued in its filing that since the SEC has already approved futures-based ether ETFs, which derive their pricing from the underlying spot ETH market, this precedent should pave the way for the approval of spot ether products like the iShares Ethereum Trust.
The evolving landscape of cryptocurrency ETFs is closely watched by market participants, as regulatory decisions in this space are anticipated to have far-reaching implications for the broader adoption of digital assets in traditional finance.
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