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Business News/ Markets / Cryptocurrency/  BlackRock files paperwork for spot bitcoin ETF: Report

At a time when the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is cracking down on cryptocurrency platforms, the largest asset manager in the world BlackRock officially filed paperwork with the SEC on Thursday (June 15) for a spot bitcoin ETF which would hold the cryptocurrency as the underlying asset and track its price, reported Wall Street Journal. Coinbase Global would be the custodian for the fund's Bitcoin holdings.

The iShares Bitcoin Trust aims to be the first ETF with the cryptocurrency itself as the underlying asset, rather than futures contracts, the report further added.

BlackRock is not the first investment firm that did so. As per the Wall Street report, at least a dozen asset managers have previously filed for spot bitcoin ETFs and been rejected by the Securities and Exchange Commission as the regulator argued that such products are vulnerable to fraud and market manipulation.

Some industry insiders perceive the decision of BlackRock to proceed with a Bitcoin ETF as a validation of the cryptocurrency. This development comes amidst the SEC's regulatory actions targeting prominent players in the field, such as Coinbase.

Earlier in June, the US SEC filed a lawsuit against the world's biggest cryptocurrency exchanges. Binance and Coinbase are both alleged to have violated the law by operating as securities exchanges without registering their businesses with the SEC. Binance has also faced charges of diverting customer funds to a separate business, among other accusations. The SEC has asked a federal judge to freeze the assets of Binance’s US platform.

The SEC alleged Coinbase traded at least 13 crypto assets that are securities, while it accused Binance of offering 12 cryptocurrency coins without registering them.

Read more: Explainer: Here's why SEC is going after Coinbase, Binance

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Updated: 16 Jun 2023, 09:13 AM IST
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