Will BlockFi be the one? The rumors are flying, apparently, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission will approve a spot Bitcoin ETF soon. With that in mind, the news that crypto lending platform and investment service BlockFi just filed to get one approved was met with suspicion and excitement by the Bitcoin community. Unlike the Bitcoin Futures ETF, a spot one will require the company sponsoring it to buy a huge amount of Bitcoin. This will definitely affect the price. However… BlockFi?
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Last year, hackers targeted BlockFi and stole sensitive user data including their clients’ activity history. To add insult to injury, the hackers used a simple SIM swap to breach their security, and the company didn’t disclose the hack until days after it happened. More recently, regulators from five states accused the controversial lending platform of violating security laws with their BlockFi Interest Account product. In a statement regarding the issue, the company said:
“BlockFi’s BIAs have been the subject of recent activity by securities regulators in New Jersey, Texas, Alabama, Vermont and Kentucky, and we are in active dialogue with these regulators. We believe that our products and services are lawful and appropriate for crypto market participants, and we remain steadfast in our commitment to protect consumers’ rights to earn interest on their crypto assets.”
In any case, past performance doesn’t guarantee future results. And BlockFi could score big if they’re the chosen one. The first spot Bitcoin ETF is expected to shatter all kinds of records, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
BTC price chart for 11/09/2021 on Oanda | Source: BTC/USD on TradingView.com
What Do We Know About BlockFi’s Version Of A Bitcoin ETF?
Not much, actually. The project is a joint venture with investment management firm Neuberger Berman. If approved, it will trade on the New York Stock Exchange. It will “reflect the performance of bitcoins held by the Trust, less the Trust’s expenses and other liabilities.” Yes, the registration statement actually says “bitcoins,” but let’s give them a pass for now. What else does the document reveal? Well…
“Barring a liquidation or extraordinary circumstances, the Trust will not purchase or sell bitcoin directly, although the Trust may direct the Custodian to sell bitcoin to pay certain expenses. Instead, when the Trust sells or redeems its Shares, it will do so in “in-kind” transactions in blocks of  Shares (a “Creation Basket”) based on the quantity of bitcoin attributable to each Share (…). Because the creation and redemption of Creation Baskets will be effected in in-kind transactions based on the quantity of bitcoin attributable to each Share, the quantity of bitcoin in Creation Baskets so created or redeemed will generally not be affected by fluctuations in the value of bitcoin.”
In any case, is not even close to guaranteed that BlockFi will win the coveted first spot. The amount of ETF fillings regarding Bitcoin is getting ridiculous, actually.
Who’s Next On The SEC’s Bitcoin ETF List?
The list Bloomberg Intelligence’s James Seyffart provides shows 21 hopeful spot Bitcoin ETFs and even more derivatives-based ones. That includes the BlockFi Futures ETF that the company filed for last month. Here’s the list.
Here’s the current list of #Bitcoin and Crypto ETF filings with the SEC. Next big date is still 11/14/21 for VanEck’s spot Bitcoin ETF. It will be either approval or denial from SEC — no more delays. https://t.co/Z8phpVlsOK pic.twitter.com/g9ayoibmQN
— James Seyffart (@JSeyff) November 8, 2021
According to the expert, the “Next big date is still 11/14/21 for VanEck’s spot Bitcoin ETF. It will be either approval or denial from SEC — no more delays.” Will VanEck be the chosen one? We’ll have to wait and see, but Seyffart feels it won’t be. He tweeted, “We fully expect a denial based on recent comments from SEC/Gensler. Would be shocked if VanEck’s filing is approved (despite believing it *should* be approved). BUT, the denial letter should give us insight into SEC’s current views/opinions.”
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Chances are all the approved spot Bitcoin ETFs will make tons of fiat money, but the first-mover advantage in a product as anticipated as this one is worth millions of Dollars. Billions, even.
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