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In a Friday, December 29 filing with the US securities watchdog, the world’s largest asset management firm, BlackRock, amended its application for spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). The Larry Fink-led firm led other Wall Street titans in amending their applications in compliance with the Friday deadline set by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as approval looms in January. 

BlackRock Amends Bitcoin ETF Filing

The amended filing names Wall Street banking titan JP Morgan Securities alongside the trading firm Jane Street as its authorized participants. The filing identifies authorized participants as the entities working with the fund issuer in creating and redeeming shares to allow the investor opportunities to cash out. 

Experts drawn to the ETF segment consider the amended filing markets as the final stage of the application process that began in mid-2023. BlackRock has often revised its application for the product following reviews and dialogues with the SEC representatives. 

Fink-led BlackRock had, in the previous week, amended the filing to drop the in-kind creation and redemption for the cash-only redemptions as emphasized by SEC in its recent roundtable with the asset management firm. 

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BlackRock Emerges Frontrunner in Race for Spot Bitcoin ETF

Senior Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas reflected on BlackRock’s last-minute amendment, indicating that the world is getting closer to witnessing the first horse at the gate. The post refers to the asset manager’s higher chances of securing SEC approval as it has emerged as a frontrunner. 

Earlier in the week, Balchunas reiterated expectations that the SEC would decide on the pending spot Bitcoin ETF bids by January 10. The senior analyst indicated that the approval of the ETF would likely allow trading to commence shortly before the hype subsides. 

The filing complies with the Friday deadline that the Gary Gensler-Chair Commission set for eligibility in the inclusion of applications that the SEC would approve in the first window. 

BlackRock led other applicants in filing amended applications with a conspicuous move by fund manager Valkyrie, naming the quantitative trading firm Jane Street alongside Cantor Fitzgerald as authorized participants. 

Valkyrie filed its amended S-1 form identifying StoneX Financial as its lead market maker. The last-minute filing by the fund manager indicates that the financial firms identified as authorized participants will inject cash into creating shares. It embraced the SEC’s preference for cash only by restricting receipts to cash when redeeming the shares. 

BlackRock Bid for Spot Bitcoin ETF Fueling Crypto Prices Rally

BlackRock made the surprise application for the spot Bitcoin ETF, triggering the wild pump of Bitcoin price to 154.2% in 2023, as per CoinGecko. Since then, the firm’s chief, Larry Fink, has labeled Bitcoin the international asset digitizing gold. 

Market analysts predict that the interest shown by the reputable fund manager and subsequent applications by other Wall Street firms would prompt the SEC to approve the long-awaited investment vehicle. 

Ark Invest chief executive Cathie Wood added optimism to spot Bitcoin ETF approval in her interview with CNBC, considering that SEC has ditched the usual denials for detailed engagements. The American investor whose firm is among the applicants awaiting the SEC’s decision indicated that the SEC held fruitful dialogues signaling an end to the ten-year wait characterized by the dismissal of applications. 

The spot Bitcoin ETF offers an opportunity for investors to purchase shares tracking Bitcoin price that traditional institutions consider an asset and alien to buy and store. 

JPMorgan Participates in Bitcoin ETF Despite CEO Urging Crackdown on Crypto

The industry observers raised concerns about the irony exhibited by BlackRock in filing the amended S1 form. It listed JPMorgan as the firm’s authorized participant despite its chief executive Jamie Dimon repeatedly blasting crypto. When appearing before a lawmakers committee, Dimon urged the need to crack down on Bitcoin. 

Dimon expressed resentment towards Bitcoin, informing the Senate Banking Committee that he would close down crypto and Bitcoin if he were the government in charge.

The inclusion of JPMorgan by BlackRock adds the latest twist with the banking giant emerging ironical given that it eyes expanded pursuit of tokenized opportunities in 2014. 

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Michael Scott

By Michael Scott

Michael Scott is a skilled and seasoned news writer with a talent for crafting compelling stories. He is known for his attention to detail, clarity of expression, and ability to engage his readers with his writing.

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