The rally in bitcoin’s price this week has been partially attributed to growing optimism around a possible SEC approval of a spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) in the US.
However, hopes of an imminent launch were dampened Tuesday after BlackRock’s proposed bitcoin ETF was abruptly delisted from the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation’s (DTCC) website.
- BlackRock’s proposed bitcoin ETF, iShares Bitcoin Trust, was previously listed on the DTCC website but is no longer there as of Tuesday.
- The listing had generated excitement since it suggested launch was imminent, with BlackRock taking steps like obtaining a ticker symbol and CUSIP code.
- Analysts now say BlackRock was likely told by the SEC to remove the listing, signaling approval may not be as close as it initially appeared.
- The developments come amid a bitcoin price rally attributed in part to optimism around SEC approval of a spot bitcoin ETF.
- While signs have looked increasingly bullish, the SEC still has to review public comments and make a final decision, which could take weeks or months.
- Other firms like Ark Invest and 21Shares also have bitcoin ETF proposals pending before the SEC. The regulator could allow multiple ETFs to launch at once if it approves any.
- So while an SEC bitcoin ETF approval seems more likely than before, the precise timing remains uncertain despite this week’s price action.
BlackRock’s iShares Bitcoin Trust had previously been listed on the DTCC site, a move analysts called “notable” since it suggested the asset management giant was taking necessary steps like obtaining a ticker symbol right before launch. The DTCC provides key infrastructure for clearing and settling securities trades.
But the proposed ETF was no longer on the DTCC site as of Tuesday, signaling the SEC may have told BlackRock to remove it. That could imply approval is not as close as the listing initially suggested.
“I’m guessing the SEC made a call to BlackRock,” speculated Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas on Twitter. While surprising, he said it indicates BlackRock may wait to relist the ETF until its launch is just days or weeks away.
Wait, with today’s update, now the iShares Bitcoin Trust IBTC is gone from DTCC’s list? @EricBalchunas @JSeyff https://t.co/r5vYkAXroW pic.twitter.com/fH9oy4ribx
— Joe Light (@joelight) October 24, 2023
The SEC still has to review public comments and make a final ruling on BlackRock’s proposal, a process that typically takes at least 30 days from the end of the comment period in early November. Other firms like Ark Invest also have spot bitcoin ETF applications pending before the regulator.
So while approval no longer appears imminent, signs continue pointing to the SEC opening the door for spot bitcoin ETFs after years of rejection. But the precise timing remains uncertain, showing this week’s bitcoin price rally may be premature.
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Author: Oliver Dale