BlackRock may soon contribute seed funding to its iShares spot Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF), according to Bloomberg analyst Eric Balchunas Oct. 23.
Balchunas noted that recent filings suggest that BlackRock intends to contribute seed funding at an unspecified date in October. He further explained that ETF seeding occurs when an entity purchases a limited amount of “creation units” in exchange for ETF shares. In this case, BlackRock would buy an amount of Bitcoin to start the fund.
The purchase, if it does indeed take place before the end of the month, implies that BlackRock expects to launch the fund reasonably soon.
However, BlackRock has not publicly confirmed that any such purchase is complete or underway. Furthermore, the company’s filing does not specify a price or exact date. Instead, it seems to use placeholder fields for that information. As such, it seems that the filing could be updated to reflect a later date in the future.
In a separate tweet, Balchunas noted that the fund is now listed on Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation, which is responsible for clearing Nasdaq trades.
BlackRock’s offering is highly anticipated
BlackRock is the largest asset manager in the world and, by extension, the largest asset manager to apply for a spot Bitcoin ETF.
The company was one of the first firms to submit an application for a spot Bitcoin ETF in June. That action, in turn, prompted several other firms to apply for similar funds. The fact that BlackRock and several applicants have included surveillance-sharing agreements with Coinbase in their ETF proposals could improve the chance of approval.
Despite growing optimism around Bitcoin ETFs, which could provide mainstream and institutional investors with a regulated way to access Bitcoin, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has not yet approved such a fund as of now.
Following several updated filings from applicants, the SEC is now seeking comments on numerous applications. The next notable deadline for an agency decision is set for January 2024 and concerns ARK Invest’s ETF application.
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