Bitcoin ETF watch: BlackRock, VanEck refile S-1s ahead of SEC decision

Ark 21Shares, Invesco Galaxy, Grayscale, WisdomTree, Bitwise, Valkyrie and Franklin Templeton also refiled paperwork Tuesday morning


Tada Images/Shutterstock modified by Blockworks


New filings submitted by prospective spot bitcoin ETF issuers Tuesday suggest efforts to get these products to market are not slowing down. 

BlackRock — roughly 24 hours after filing a registration statement that named additional authorized participants and an intended fee for its proposed iShares Bitcoin Trust — resubmitted the so-called S-1 form early Tuesday.

The quick turnaround, according to Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Eric Balchunas, is “unheard of.”

It’s telling, Balchunas added, because it shows that “all parties [are] aiming to get this show on [the] road pronto.”

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Soon after BlackRock refiled its S-1, VanEck followed. 

Other re-filers include Ark 21Shares, Invesco Galaxy, Grayscale, WisdomTree, Bitwise, Valkyrie and Franklin Templeton.  

Some of the refilers — Invesco Galaxy WisdomTree, Bitwise and Valkyrie — unveiled fee changes in their amendments. Valkyrie, for example, dropped its fee to 0.49% from 80 basis points.

Teasing the filing before it was made public on the website, Grayscale Chief Legal Officer Craig Salm posted on X that the firm was “dotting some i’s and crossing some t’s.”

BlackRock’s Monday filing unveiled a planned fee for its proposed spot bitcoin ETF of 0.20% (20 basis points) for the first 12 months, or $5 billion of trust assets. It then increases to 30 basis points.

The intended fee for Grayscale Investments’ proposed bitcoin ETF sits at 1.5%, the highest of the pack. Bitwise, after its own waiver of no fee for six months or the first $1 billion, has the lowest fee at 20 basis points. It dropped the fee lower than 24 basis points it included in Monday’s filing.

Read more: Why the planned fee for Grayscale’s bitcoin ETF is much higher than others

The changes in the filing are minor, and Balchunas said that the feedback is “based on last [minute] comments given yesterday” by the Securities and Exchange Commission. 

A comparison of the two BlackRock documents shows updated risk disclosures to reflect authorized participants and the bitcoin trading counterparty, as well as the disclaimers related to the custodian agreement.

As parties make administrative edits, the deadline for the SEC to make a decision on the Ark 21Shares Bitcoin ETF proposal looms. The agency is slated to hand down a decision on Wednesday.

However, Balchunas and Seyffart have said that potential approval could extend to 11 potential bitcoin ETFs — including those by BlackRock, Bitwise, Grayscale, Fidelity and others — if the SEC decides to allow such funds.

Trading of these products, Seyffart told Blockworks, could begin “within 24 hours” of SEC approval.

Updated Tuesday, Jan. 9 at 12:15 pm ET: Added context throughout.

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