BlackRock Revamps ETF Model as 13th Entrant Joins Bitcoin ETF Race
Swiss asset manager Pando Asset has become an unexpected late entrant into the spot Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF) race in the United States. On the same day, investment giant BlackRock met with the country’s securities regulator to pitch an updated ETF model based on the agency’s feedback. On Nov. 29, Pando submitted a Form…
Swiss asset manager Pando Asset has become an unexpected late entrant into the spot Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF) race in the United States. On the same day, investment giant BlackRock met with the country’s securities regulator to pitch an updated ETF model based on the agency’s feedback.
On Nov. 29, Pando submitted a Form S-1 to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission — used to register securities with the agency — for the Pando Asset Spot Bitcoin Trust. Aiming to track Bitcoin’s price, the trust will use the custody arm of the crypto exchange Coinbase to hold Bitcoin on behalf of the trust.
Pando is the 13th applicant for an approved spot Bitcoin ETF in the U.S. and joins the race with a dozen others, including BlackRock, ARK Invest and Grayscale. Eric Balchunas, a Bloomberg ETF analyst, raised concern about the implications should Pando’s ETF be among the Bitcoin ETF filings he predicts will be approved on Jan. 10. “What does that say about fair play and even society as we know it?” he asked.
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Balchunas and fellow Bloomberg ETF analyst James Seyffart have put their money on Jan. 10 as the day all spot Bitcoin ETFs would be approved at once, as it’s the day the SEC must deny or approve ARK Invest’s bid. However, Seyffart told his followers on X that he doubts Pando’s ETF “is ready to go on [the] first day with the others but crazier things have happened I guess.”
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BlackRock meets with SEC to discuss ETF bid
The SEC convened with representatives from BlackRock and Invesco on Nov. 28 to go over their ETF bids, as per agency documents.
BlackRock proposed a modification to its redemption model to address the SEC’s apprehensions from an earlier meeting on balance sheet effects and risks to U.S. broker-dealers working with offshore crypto entities.
Balchunas elucidated the modification sees the offshore entity receiving Bitcoin from Coinbase and paying in advance the U.S. registered broker-dealer in cash, which cannot directly handle Bitcoin.
Balchunas elucidated in a Nov. 17 X post that broker-dealers can’t deal in Bitcoin and the SEC was asking ETFs to have redemption models that “puts [the] onus on issuers to transact in Bitcoin and keeps broker-dealers from having to use unregistered subsidiaries or third party firms to deal [with] the BTC.” In other words, the SEC was asking ETFs to have a redemption model that does not require broker-dealers to deal with crypto such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other crypto assets like Big Crypto, Crypto US, and Crypto Whale.