A tremendous leap for BTC: Its ETF future is coming

  • Grayscale Investments is in talks with JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs regarding their potential roles as authorized participants in its proposed spot Bitcoin ETF.
  • Goldman Sachs is exploring participation as an authorized participant in both Grayscale’s and BlackRock’s Bitcoin ETFs, signaling a notable shift in traditional financial institutions towards embracing the cryptocurrency sector.

Bitcoin ETFs, which were once seen as something of a dream for crypto fans, are now getting close to becoming a reality. Grayscale Investments is pushing hard to make this happen. An Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF) is a type of investment fund and exchange-traded product, holding assets such as stocks, bonds, or commodities, designed to track the performance of an underlying index.

Think of an ETF like a basket that holds different kinds of investments, and in this case, it’s focused on Bitcoin. Grayscale is talking to big financial players like JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs, trying to get them on board as authorized participants in their new Bitcoin ETF.

Entry of multiple enterprises

The role of authorized participants in ETFs cannot be overstated, as they are instrumental in the seamless operation of these financial products. These participants facilitate the creation and redemption of shares within the fund, ensuring that the ETF’s price remains aligned with the underlying asset, in this case, Bitcoin. By engaging with multiple financial firms as authorized participants, Grayscale aims to enhance market liquidity, laying the groundwork for a more robust and resilient Bitcoin ETF.

Grayscale’s recent filing of an amended S-3 application with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has added momentum to the prospect of a Bitcoin ETF. While the application did not explicitly name authorized participants, reports suggest that conversations with JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs are underway, emphasizing the significance of these financial giants in Grayscale’s ambitious plan.

In a parallel development, Goldman Sachs is also exploring its own involvement in the Bitcoin ETF landscape, engaging in talks with BlackRock to potentially serve as an authorized participant for BlackRock’s proposed ETF. Historically cautious about cryptocurrencies, Goldman Sachs recognizes the transformative potential of a Bitcoin ETF in bringing maturity and institutional investment to the digital asset sector. The collaboration with BlackRock underscores the shifting sentiments within traditional financial institutions towards embracing the opportunities presented by cryptocurrencies.

Also read: Bitcoin’s rollercoaster ride at the start of 2024


A precursor to ETF approval

Despite the unprecedented interest, it’s essential to note that a spot Bitcoin ETF is yet to secure approval in the United States. However, optimism prevails among ETF analysts, with approval chances estimated at a staggering 90% before January 10 of this year. Currently, 14 asset managers are actively pursuing the issuance of a spot Bitcoin ETF in the United States, demonstrating a collective effort to provide institutional investors with regulated exposure to Bitcoin.

Several indicators suggest that the future of Bitcoin ETF approval is filled with promise. Recently, a flurry of meetings have been convened amongst SEC staff members, stock exchanges, and potential issuers. Representatives from major stock market giants such as the New York Stock Exchange, Nasdaq, and Cboe Global Markets interacted with SEC staff last Wednesday, as reported to CoinDesk. Meetings with SEC attorneys from the Division of Trading and Markets were revealed first by Fox Business.

Moreover, over the recent period, SEC staff have been engaged in interactions with issuers to unravel various facets of their S-1 filings. One key point of discussion is nudging all issuers to adopt a cash creation and redemption model, as opposed to in-kind. The concept of cash creation is quite literal: Authorized participants will procure shares of the ETFs from the issuers in exchange for cash, rather than acquiring the actual asset. Major enterprises such as BlackRock and Grayscale have retorted to the SEC claims, arguing that in-kind creation should be permitted. only allowing cash creation could lead to inflated fees and additional frictions to the parties involved.

If these ETFs receive approval, they could mark significant milestones in the broader adoption of cryptocurrencies, paving the way for increased institutional investments and solidifying the digital asset sector’s position in the global financial landscape. The future of Bitcoin ETFs is not just imminent—it’s here.


Coco Yao

Coco Yao was an intern reporter at BTW media covering artificial intelligence and media. She is studying broadcasting and hosting at the Communication School of Zhejiang.

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