BlackRock Expands Authorized Participants List for Bitcoin ETF


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BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, has recently expanded its list of authorized participants (APs) for its spot Bitcoin ETF, adding prestigious Wall Street firms such as Citi, Citadel, Goldman Sachs, and UBS. This addition brings the total number of APs for the Bitcoin-based fund to nine, demonstrating BlackRock’s growing commitment to the cryptocurrency sector.

The recent inclusion of these firms was made public through an amendment to the ETF’s Form S-1, which was submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on April 5. This development follows a wave of amended applications for Bitcoin ETFs submitted by various financial giants, including BlackRock, to the SEC earlier this year. On January 8, a group of industry leaders, including Ark Invest/21Shares, VanEck, WisdomTree, Invesco, Fidelity, and Valkyrie, filed revised S-1 forms for their spot Bitcoin ETFs, marking a significant step in the approval process.

BlackRock’s Strategic Expansion: A New Chapter in Bitcoin ETFs

These amendments shed light on the financial structures underpinning these potential ETFs, revealing details such as sponsor fees and strategic adjustments. For instance, BlackRock set its sponsor fee at 0.3%, with a promotional rate of 0.2% for the first year or until the ETF reaches $5 billion in assets. In contrast, VanEck opted for a lower permanent fee of 0.25%, while WisdomTree chose a higher fee of 0.5%. Additionally, ARK Invest and 21Shares announced a waiver of their 0.25% fee for the first $1 billion in transactions.

Authorized participants play a crucial role in the ETF market, as they are typically large banks or investment firms tasked with issuing and redeeming ETF shares. They ensure liquidity in the market by creating and redeeming shares based on demand, helping to keep ETF prices in line with the net asset value of the underlying assets. In return for procuring the necessary assets to create ETF shares, APs receive a bundle of shares known as a creation unit.

The expansion of BlackRock’s authorized participants for its spot Bitcoin ETF, along with the flurry of amendments to existing spot BTC ETF applications, signifies a noteworthy progression in the journey toward a U.S. Bitcoin ETF. The upcoming weeks and months will be crucial in determining the outcome of these applications and their potential impact on the cryptocurrency market.

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