May 19, 2024
BlackRock Updates Bitcoin ETF
Bitcoin ETF

BlackRock Updates Bitcoin ETF

On April 5, BlackRock, a prominent global asset manager, made significant updates to its Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) prospectus. This revision saw the inclusion of five notable Wall Street firms as fresh authorized participants. The added firms, including ABN AMRO Clearing, Citadel Securities, Citigroup Global Markets, Goldman Sachs, and UBS Securities, were officially listed in a document submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission, amending BlackRock’s S-1 registration statement.

Source: Eric Balchunas

Crucial Role of Authorized Participants

The involvement of authorized participants is integral to the operational dynamics of Bitcoin ETFs. These entities wield the authority to create and redeem shares of the ETF, facilitating exchanges involving ETF shares for either a corresponding basket of securities or cash. Notably, before the recent additions, the roster of authorized participants for BlackRock’s ETF encompassed renowned firms such as JPMorgan Securities, Jane Street Capital, Macquarie Capital, and Virtu Americas.

SEC Guidance and Market Dynamics

A significant focus of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been the implementation of a cash creation and redemption mechanism for Bitcoin ETFs to mitigate potential market manipulation risks. This mechanism mandates that the creation or redemption of new shares within a Bitcoin ETF occurs exclusively through cash transactions, diverging from the traditional in-kind model where market participants directly handle underlying assets. In response to the SEC’s directives, asset managers such as BlackRock, ARK Invest, and Grayscale have adapted their filings accordingly.

Bitcoin Spot ETFs performance. Source: BitMEX Research.

The trading volume of Bitcoin ETFs experienced a notable surge in March, reaching an impressive $111 billion. However, recent indicators suggest a potential cooling of demand for these products. Despite this, BlackRock’s IBIT maintains a dominant position in both trading volume and assets under management, with Grayscale and Fidelity’s funds closely following suit. According to data from Bitmex Research, BlackRock’s IBIT assets totaled a substantial $17.6 billion as of April 1.

Image by freepik

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