WisdomTree Investments Joins Blackrock, Files For Bitcoin ETF

Several United States asset managers have sought the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) blessing to start a spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). However, companies like WisdomTree, Grayscale, and One River Asset Management only received the SEC’s rejection.

However, the SEC’s denial didn’t deter WisdomTree as a June 21 Bloomberg report revealed that the asset manager filed another application with the SEC to launch its spot BTC ETF. The firm’s application comes a few days after BlackRock submitted its own, seeking approval for the same product.

WisdomTree Reapplies For Spot BTC ETF Approval Despite Previous Rejections

WisdomTree Investments had previously proposed to launch a spot BTC ETF with the SEC in 2021. However, the commission denied the company’s application in December 2021 after a prolonged delay in taking action. 

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After the denial, WisdomTree, alongside One River, made changes to its proposal and resubmitted it to the SEC. However, in March 2022, the commission announced designating a longer period to decide on the proposed rule change.

It noted that it needed ample time to consider the proposed change, including the accompanying comments. One would have expected WisdomTree to surrender after the prolonged delay and denial, but the latest development suggests otherwise. 

The Tuesday filing disclosed that the asset manager’s Bitcoin Trust would list on the Cboe BZX Exchange under the name BTCW if approved.

The SEC has previously refused to allow such Bitcoin-based investment products, rejecting or ignoring applications from firms such as Grayscale, One River, and VanEck. 

It cited fraud and BTC spot market manipulation as reasons for not approving the spot-based BTC ETFs. Instead, the SEC allowed futures-based BTC ETFs.

Notably, the manager of the largest Bitcoin Trust fund, Grayscale, had applied with the SEC to convert its private spot Bitcoin trust to spot ETF. But the commission rejected the move, enraging the firm to sue it for denying the application.

BTCUSD price chart

BlackRock Raises Hope In Spot BTC Approval

Last week, US’ leading asset manager BlackRock applied for the SEC’s approval to launch iShares Bitcoin Trust spot ETF. It appears that BlackRock’s application restored hope among previous applicants.

Eric Balchunas and James Seyffart, ETF analysts at Bloomberg Intelligence, said:  BlackRock’s spot BTC ETF filing “has restored hope in approval thanks to the company’s size, stature, and reputation.” Interestingly, some Bitcoin proponents threw weights behind BlackRock’s political affluence and power in the United States as an advantage. 

In a June 12 tweet, a notable Bitcoin proponent, Paine, while cheering BlackRock, expressed optimism that the firm would receive the SEC’s approval to launch its spot BTC ETF. 

Paine said:

BlackRock is probably the most politically powerful and connected entity in the United States. I bet this spot BTC ETF will be approved.

He also said the SEC’s stalling the approval of other firms’ applications was to ward off “undeserving frontrunners” and “let the anointed [BlackRock] have their due.”