BlockFi and Neuberger Berman Look to Launch Bitcoin ETF

Filing follows partnership between crypto firm and $437 billion asset manager.

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key takeaways

key takeaways

  • Two firms had expressed intent last month to create a series of digital asset management products and strategies
  • The SEC has yet to allow an ETF that directly holds bitcoin, though its final deadline to make a decision on fund manager VanEck’s bitcoin ETF is Nov. 14

BlockFi and Neuberger Berman are working together in hopes of launching a bitcoin ETF, according to a regulatory disclosure filed with the SEC on Monday. 

The two firms announced a partnership last month to develop and issue a series of digital asset management products and strategies, and now have revealed plans to offer a fund to offer direct exposure to bitcoin.

“The trust’s investment objective is for the shares to reflect the performance of bitcoins held by the trust, less the trust’s expenses and other liabilities,” the regulatory filing notes. “In seeking to achieve its investment objective, the trust will hold bitcoin.”

The planned offering would trade on the New York Stock Exchange. The disclosure did not include a ticker and expense ratio for the potential product. 

The ETF’s sponsor is officially listed as BlockFi NB LLC, a joint venture between BlockFi and Neuberger Berman affiliate NB BF JV LLC.

Spokespeople for BlockFi and Neuberger Berman declined to comment. 

Founded in 2017, BlockFi aims to build a bridge between cryptocurrencies and traditional financial and wealth management products for individual and institutional investors. 

Neuberger Berman is an 82-year-old private, independent employee-owned investment manager that manages $437 billion in client assets as of Sept. 30.

ProShares launched the first bitcoin futures ETF in the US last month, and Valkyrie Investments brought to market a similar product three days later. The SEC has yet to allow an ETF that directly holds bitcoin, though its final deadline to make a decision on fund manager VanEck’s bitcoin ETF is Nov. 14.

Bloomberg Intelligence ETF Analyst said during a recent Blockworks podcast that he would estimate December 2022 as his “over-under” for a spot bitcoin approval. Valkyrie CEO Wald, who joined Balchunas on the podcast, noted that she believed it would be sooner. 

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