Blackrock Seeks SEC Approval to Offer Options on Spot Bitcoin ETF — Ishares Bitcoin Trust Now Holds 28,622 BTC
Blackrock, the world’s largest asset manager, is seeking approval from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to offer options on its spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). The SEC has opened a comment period for a proposed rule change, filed by Nasdaq, to list and trade options on Blackrock’s spot bitcoin ETF. Since launch, Blackrock’s Ishares Bitcoin Trust has amassed 28,622 bitcoins.
SEC Opens Comment Period for Options Trading on Ishares Bitcoin Trust
Blackrock, the world’s largest asset manager, is seeking to offer options on its spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF), the Ishares Bitcoin Trust (IBIT).
Nasdaq, which lists and trades IBIT, filed a proposed rule change (Form 19b-4) with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Friday to list and trade options on IBIT. In its SEC filing, Nasdaq explained:
The Exchange believes that offering options on the Trust [IBIT] will benefit investors by providing them with an additional, relatively lower cost investing tool to gain exposure to spot bitcoin as well as a hedging vehicle to meet their investment needs in connection with bitcoin products and positions.
Bloomberg analyst James Seyffart commented: “The SEC has already acknowledged the 19b-4’s requesting the ability to trade options on spot bitcoin ETFs. This is faster than SEC typically moves.” The analyst opined: “Options could be approved before [the] end of February if SEC wants to move fast?… At [the] absolute earliest, options [are] still ~27+ days away.”
Following Nasdaq’s filing, the SEC opened a comment period for the proposed rule change to list and trade options on Ishares Bitcoin Trust. The comment period lasts 21 days after the publication in the federal register.
Since its launch on Jan. 11, Blackrock’s Ishares Bitcoin Trust has accumulated 28,622 bitcoins with a market value of $1.199 billion as of Jan. 18.
Spot bitcoin ETFs have seen strong trading volumes since they launched on Jan. 11. Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas detailed that nine spot bitcoin ETFs “saw another jump in volume” on Friday, up 12% compared to Thursday and 53% from Wednesday. He called it “a rare phenomenon.” The analyst further noted that Fidelity Wise Origin Bitcoin Fund (FBTC) and Blackrock’s IBIT “are in a legit duel to be The One.” Nonetheless, he emphasized: “All of them posting huge numbers for newbies, competition is making them all hustle twice as hard.”
The SEC approved 11 spot bitcoin ETFs on Jan. 10. Besides Grayscale’s bitcoin ETF, which converted from the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), Blackrock’s IBIT leads the pack in terms of total trading volume, closely followed by Fidelity’s FBTC. Grayscale’s bitcoin ETF has seen a significant outflow of bitcoin. Since Jan. 12, the trust has witnessed a cumulative outflow of 50,106.59 BTC, valued at more than $2 billion. According to Balchunas, Blackrock’s spot bitcoin ETF is in the top 15 of all ETFs by assets and the top 2% by daily trading volume.
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