Asset management giant BlackRock is set to venture into the Ethereum landscape with plans for an exchange-traded fund (ETF) focused on the cryptocurrency.
The proposal, dubbed “iShares Ethereum Trust,” aims to provide investors with a traditional stock exchange avenue to engage with Ethereum’s price movements.
BlackRock’s Nasdaq filing discloses the groundwork for the “iShares Ethereum Trust,” offering investors exposure to Ethereum without direct asset ownership.
The news propelled Ethereum’s price upwards by 10%, surpassing the $2,100 mark, a level unseen since April, notes CoinGecko. This surge marks a notable 30% increase for the month and an impressive 85% rise from a year ago.
Simultaneously, BlackRock registered an Ethereum trust in Delaware, seen as a precursor to seeking regulatory approval for the ETF. The move, signaling BlackRock’s strategic intent, could potentially attract significant new investment, especially from retail investors keen on Ethereum without direct asset possession.
Should the ETF materialise, the fund’s shares are slated to trade under the ticker “ETH,” mirroring Ethereum’s price held within the trust.
BlackRock’s subsidiary, iShares, would serve as the sponsor.
The timeline for BlackRock’s formal application to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) remains uncertain.
Notably, the SEC has raised concerns over Bitcoin ETFs, citing potential manipulation risks, while greenlighting the first U.S. Bitcoin futures ETFs as a positive stride. Additionally, the recent approval of Ethereum futures ETFs adds an intriguing layer to the evolving regulatory landscape.
An Ethereum ETF would offer retail investors a gateway to Ethereum, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalisation, without the need for direct asset ownership.
While the path to SEC approval remains uncertain, the precedent set by Bitcoin futures ETFs signals a shifting regulatory sentiment towards embracing funds holding digital assets themselves.