- Pando, who already offers crypto ETPs in Europe, is the latest entrant in the US race to get a Bitcoin ETF approved.
- BlackRock has submitted a revised in-kind model design.
- The submission points to more issuers still meeting with the SEC, adding credence to the oncoming approval thesis.
Amid the ongoing spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) race, a new player has joined the marathon. Pando Asset AG has become the thirteenth applicant even as the US Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) continues to engage with prospective issuers.
Pando joins BlackRock in ETF race
Pando Asset AG is the latest entrant in the spot Bitcoin ETF race, joining the likes of BlackRock, Ark Invest, Fidelity and Invesco – all of whom continue to await a decision from the SEC.
Notably, Pando already offers crypto Exchange Traded Products (ETPs) in Europe, with the Swiss issuer offering a diversified portfolio where Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) are not overpowering the basket. Instead, four other assets are featured, including Cardano (ADA), Binance Coin (BNB) and Solana (SOL). Through the Pando ETP in Europe, investors enjoy diversification while benefiting from enhanced growth potential crypto assets with relatively smaller market capitalizations.
The Swiss issuer is looking to ride the ETF wave in the US. This is at a time when the first movers like BlackRock are already neck deep in negotiations with the SEC.
BlackRock submits revised in-kind model design
Based on the latest reports, BlackRock met with the SEC's Trading & Markets Division on November 28 and has now submitted a revised in-kind model design.
More confirmation that Issuers still meeting with SEC. @BlackRock/@Nasdaq still pushing for In-Kind creation & redemption. Seems like SEC hasn't budged on cash creates demands if this was the primary focus of the meeting. At least not before yesterday, Interesting days ahead! https://t.co/b5tI4AwjOG— James Seyffart (@JSeyff) November 29, 2023
The SEC has been approaching exchanges, pushing for cash creates as opposed to crypto (in-kind). The submission is, therefore, based on comments following their meeting on November 20, but several firms including BlackRock and Ark Invest have insisted on in-kind creates.
Looks like @BlackRock also met with SEC! There’s a couple slides in relation to in-kind vs cash creation. Based on this it looks like BlackRock prefers in-kind for their #bitcoin ETF (makes sense as its probably cleanest structure for them & end investors)— James Seyffart (@JSeyff) November 22, 2023
h/t @btcNLNico https://t.co/AK0XspL4zJ pic.twitter.com/eeuUT9T5mn
Speculation has it that the SEC is trying to sell the idea that spot Bitcoin ETFs should do cash creates as opposed to trading in physical crypto. The position comes on the assumption that broker-dealers cannot deal in Bitcoin, unlike exchanges.
However, if the ETFs do cash creates, the broker-dealers – who are essentially the institutional players tabling their spot BTC ETF applications to the SEC – would take the initiative to transact in BTC. According to ETF specialist Eric Balchunas, such an outcome would mean less limitations for everyone, because it would keep the institutional players from having to use unregistered subsidiaries or third-party firms to deal with the BTC.
Cash creates makes sense IMO bc broker dealers can’t deal in bitcoin so doing cash creates puts onus on issuers to transact in bitcoin and keeps broker dealers from having to use unregistered subsidiaries or third party firms to deal w the btc. Less limitations for them overall— Eric Balchunas (@EricBalchunas) November 17, 2023
According to experts, in-kind creates are the cleanest for end investors and issuers as well. This is contrary to the cash creates alternatives, favored by the SEC, as it helps prevent the use of unregistered brokers.
Crypto ETF FAQs
What is an ETF?
An Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF) is an investment vehicle or an index that tracks the price of an underlying asset. ETFs can not only track a single asset, but a group of assets and sectors. For example, a Bitcoin ETF tracks Bitcoin’s price. ETF is a tool used by investors to gain exposure to a certain asset.
Is Bitcoin futures ETF approved?
Yes. The first Bitcoin futures ETF in the US was approved by the US Securities & Exchange Commission in October 2021. A total of seven Bitcoin futures ETFs have been approved, with more than 20 still waiting for the regulator’s permission. The SEC says that the cryptocurrency industry is new and subject to manipulation, which is why it has been delaying crypto-related futures ETFs for the last few years.
Is Bitcoin spot ETF approved?
Bitcoin spot ETF has been approved outside the US, but the SEC is yet to approve one in the country. After BlackRock filed for a Bitcoin spot ETF on June 15, the interest surrounding crypto ETFs has been renewed. Grayscale – whose application for a Bitcoin spot ETF was initially rejected by the SEC – got a victory in court, forcing the US regulator to review its proposal again. The SEC’s loss in this lawsuit has fueled hopes that a Bitcoin spot ETF might be approved by the end of the year.
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