VanEck, Fidelity Unveil Spot Bitcoin ETF Tickers

The firms are working with the SEC to move their applications forward toward approval.

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

As excitement builds among investors that a much-anticipated first spot bitcoin ETF could launch early next year, firms are disclosing the tickers for their funds as they prepare for fierce marketing competition if the exchange-traded funds are approved.  

VanEck included the firm’s meme reference ticker HODL in their most recent amendment filed Dec. 8 to the firm’s S-1 filing, while Fidelity Investments’ ticker, FBTC, appeared on the Depository Trust & Clearing Corp. website on Dec. 7.  

VanEck’s ticker, HODL, is likely a nod to a popular cryptocurrency term often used to mean “Hold On For Dear Life.” Eric Balchunas noted on X that HODL was differentiated from tickers from BlackRock Inc., Invesco and Fidelity as a “departure from the more boring Boomer-y choices.” BlackRock’s proposed ticker is IBTC, and Invesco’s is BTCO.  

While having a catchy or entertaining ticker could speak directly to crypto retail investors, it doesn’t necessarily indicate that investors would be won over by a pertinent reference or pun.  

“It's hard to say how much impact a ticker has on the demand for an ETF,” said etf.com senior analyst Sumit Roy. “A good ticker could make a fund more memorable (i.e. "HACK" for a cybersecurity ETF), but it only plays a tiny part in an ETF's success.”  

Many ETFs with memorable tickers have also failed to gain traction. For example, Roundhill Investments recently announced it was shuttering its Roundhill MEME ETF (MEME) after the fund failed to gain traction with its targeted audience of retail traders.  

Spot Bitcoin ETF Race 

Fees, liquidity and brand recognition will be key factors that investors will use to differentiate funds, according to both fund issuers and analysts.  

In an interview with etf.com in November, Cathie Wood, who operates spot bitcoin ETF hopeful issuer ARK Invest, said that if multiple spot bitcoin ETFs are launched at the same time, firms will jockey to win over both institutional and retail investors.  

“It's a marketing game from there, although some people would call it a war,” Wood said.   

That issuers are updating their tickers is also a sign that firms are in the final stages of amending their applications. The ETF issuers who have been in discussions with the Securities and Exchange Commission have narrowed down the agency’s concerns to a few key details, according to Reuters. 

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.