BlackRock, Fidelity among bitcoin ETFs primed for launch as S-1 filings become effective

The SEC has approved 11 firms to launch spot bitcoin ETFs


Artwork by Crystal Le


Now that the Securities and Exchange Commission has officially given 11 spot bitcoin ETFs the greenlight to launch the first spot bitcoin ETF, let’s look at the issuers who made it across the finish line.

While there have been 14 proposals filed for bitcoin ETFs, the list after New Years was lowered to 11 proposals. Ark 21Shares, BlackRock, VanEck, Fidelity and Franklin Templeton are included in that number.

The firms were granted approval via the 19b-4s late Wednesday, though the funds can’t start trading until the S-1s — a necessary registration document — are made effective by the agency.

The registration filings detailed the fees as well as other details, including the authorized participants. All 11 filers plan to use Jane Street as one of their authorized participants. 

APs are entities that both create and redeem shares of an ETF. Shares are then exchanged for a similar basket of securities that reflect the ETF’s holdings or for cash.

Grayscale’s ETF came in with the highest fee at 1.5%, and Bitwise came in with the lowest at 20 basis points, though it’s waiving its fee for the first six months of $1 billion.

Both Grayscale and Bitwise confirmed that their ETFs would start trading Thursday. Fidelity and WisdomTree told Blockworks that their S-1 statements are now effective. 

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BlackRock confirmed to Blockworks via email that it plans to launch on Thursday, Jan. 11.

“Through IBIT, investors can access bitcoin in a cost-effective and convenient way,” said Dominik Rohe, Head of Americas iShares ETF and Index Investing business at BlackRock.

Valkyrie CEO Leah Wald told Blockworks that the firm is “locked and loaded” though the staff may be facing a sleepless night as they prepare for the launch. 

A handful of potential issuers filed fresh amendments to their S-1s in late December, which disclosed a number of nitty gritty details necessary for fund launches. 

Among those, BlackRock, Invesco (in partnership with Galaxy Digital), Valkyrie, Fidelity and WisdomTree unveiled their authorized participants in filings. 

Now that the SEC’s granted approval for the bitcoin ETFs, another race begins: Marketing. Hashdex, VanEck and Bitwise launched ads or teasers for ads ahead of the SEC’s approval. 

Blockworks previously reported that the marketing race is expected to really kick off as firms fight for assets.

“We don’t think the SEC will approve just one; they will probably approve a group of them,” Ark Invest CEO Cathie Wood said back in an October interview. “And that means it will become a marketing battle.”

Ben Strack contributed reporting.

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