Apr 16, 2024

Blackrock Adds Goldman Sachs, UBS, and Citadel Securities as APs for Spot Bitcoin ETF

  • The development and growth of the spot Bitcoin ETF sector is beautiful to behold as more traditional finance entities enter the digital asset market. This is because of the success of many spot Bitcoin ETFs, such as those of BlackRock (BLK).
  • Recently, Blackrock added more TradFi entities such as Goldman Sachs, ABN AMRO, UBS, Citigroup, and Citadel Securities as their APs. These investment giants will help them draw more liquidity for the ETFs.

BlackRock (BLK), in a filing, has added five more authorized participants (APs) to their iShares Bitcoin Trust (IBIT). Wall Street Finanick heavyweights such as Goldman Sachs, UBS, Citigroup, Citadel Securities, and ABN AMRO entered the list of APs.

The filing to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission brings the total number of APs on IBIT to nine. Goldman Sachs and the new participants join Jane Street Capital, JP Morgan, Masquarie, and Virtu Americas as APs.

Goldman Sachs, Citadel Securities, and Others Named as IBIT APs

2024 has been a year where the majority of the financial discussions have centered around the newly approved spot Bitcoin ETFs. After 11 of them were approved by the SEC and entered into the US market as an investment product, it has taken the spotlight from other assets. Moreover, it was one of the primary reasons Bitcoin reached a new all-time high of more than $73k.

Due to the success of spot Bitcoin ETFs in the market, many traditional financial powerhouses are trying to enter the sector. Back in January, CoinDesk reported about Goldman Sachs’s interest in playing a key role in the ETF market. Thus, they were in talks with spot Bitcoin ETF issuers to try to become authorized participants.

APs play an important role in the success of Bitcoin ETFs, as they provide liquidity by changing the supply of shares when there’s a surplus or shortage. They usually do this by acquiring Bitcoin (the underlying asset of the spot ETF) to create its shares. With almost $18 billion of assets under their management, IBIT deemed it necessary to add five more APs to their ETF.

Furthermore, Goldman Sachs’s participation seems to be more notable than the rest due to recent events before the latest announcement. So, their chief investment officer just this week said Goldman Sachs believes crypto has no “value.” Moreover, the investment giant felt no pressure to join other top financial organizations in the spot Bitcoin ETF sector.

“We do not think it is an investment asset class. We’re not believers in crypto,” Sharmin Mossavar-Rahmani, chief investment officer, told the Wall Street Journal.

Top Firms Now Want to be Part of Spot Bitcoin ETFs

According to Eric Balchunas, a senior ETF analyst at Bloomberg, big-time firms becoming APs for Spot Bitcoin ETFs signifies a shift in their perception of crypto. Nevertheless, there’s also a possibility that many of these firms were afraid to be identified within the crypto sector due to the stigma of doing so. One can see how many of these firms become APs for many weeks without making any public announcement about it.

In his statement on X, Balchunas said many of these firms were “either new OR they were ashamed before to be ID-ed but are now cool. Either way, it is likely a result of the ETFs’ mega-flows/success.” At press time, Bitcoin’s price was within the $67k range, with a market cap of $1.34 trillion.

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