BlackRock Files for Spot Ethereum ETF

BlackRock Files for Spot Ethereum ETF

The price of ether jumped 10% Thursday on the news.

LucyBrewster310x310
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Finance Reporter
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Reviewed by: etf.com Staff
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Edited by: Mark Nacinovich

The price of ethereum jumped about 10% on Thursday on news that BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, filed to launch an ETF that tracks the spot price of the cryptocurrency

Ethereum rose above $2,000 and reached its highest price since April. The token was trading at $2,095 on Friday afternoon.  

Nasdaq filed a 19b-4 form with the SEC on Nov. 9 to launch the ETF. The fund would be called the iShares Ethereum Trust if approved. BlackRock registered the ETF's ethereum trust in Delaware earlier Thursday. 

While investors have been anticipating a potentially imminent spot bitcoin ETF approval, many see a spot ether fund as the next step after the SEC greenlights bitcoin, if it does. 

The Securities and Exchange Commission allows exchange-traded funds that track bitcoin and ether futures contracts, but has rejected applications for spot bitcoin ETFs on the grounds that the vehicles would be susceptible to market manipulation and fraud.  

“Given the SEC had approved both bitcoin- and ethereum futures-based ETFs, it makes sense that following any approval of a spot bitcoin ETF by the SEC, approval of a spot ethereum ETF would follow closely,” said Bradley Duke, chief strategy officer at ETC Group.  

When BlackRock first filed for a spot bitcoin ETF in June, the price of bitcoin rose. Because BlackRock is a long-established Wall Street player, the firm’s interest in cryptocurrency ETFs is a pathway to the asset class reaching a market of traditional finance investors if approved.  

Ethereum ETFs 

For digital-asset investors, ethereum has a unique set of use cases independent from bitcoin. 

“You could point to applications built on ethereum that have hundreds of thousands of users on a daily basis; that just resonates with financial advisors at a level,” said Matt Hougan, chief investment officer of Bitwise.  

Yet ether futures-based ETFs have garnered far less enthusiasm from investors than bitcoin funds have. The ProShares Ether Strategy ETF (EETH) has pulled in $7.7 million, according to etf.com data. The combined six ETFs that started trading on Oct. 2 garnered only $1.9 million on their first day of trading.  

A spot product, however, is what many investors have their eye one. As the SEC continues its talks with the firms that are filing for a spot bitcoin ETF, a consensus is building among people familiar with the matter that the SEC could give preliminary approval to multiple spot bitcoin ETFs by the end of this year. 

Bitcoin was trading at $37,224 on Friday afternoon, up 2.3% in the past 24 hours. 

Contact Lucy Brewster at [email protected].  

Lucy Brewster is a finance reporter at etf.com covering asset managers, emerging technologies, and regulation. She hosts etf.com webinars and appears on Exchange Traded Fridays, etf.com’s flagship podcast. She previously was a finance fellow at Fortune Magazine where she covered markets, investment strategy, and venture capital. She has also been a freelancer writer at the publication Mergers & Acquisitions and a research fellow at the Historic Hudson Valley. 

She graduated from Vassar College in 2022 with a degree in History and was an editor of The Miscellany News, the college's award winning student run newspaper. 

Lucy lives in Brooklyn, NY, and in her free time she loves to run and find new recipes to cook.