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Wall Street Banks Welcomed to Participate in BlackRock's Bitcoin Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF)

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Dec 13, 2023 at 07:44 am

The configuration of proposed spot bitcoin ETFs is undergoing a notable transformation, presenting an opportunity for Wall Street banks to assume a pivotal role in the industry. BlackRock's recent adaptation enables authorized participants to generate new fund shares using cash rather than solely relying on cryptocurrency.

This modification proves particularly advantageous for heavily regulated U.S. banks, including JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs, as they face limitations in directly holding cryptocurrencies. By becoming authorized participants in BlackRock's ETF, these financial behemoths, recognized for their substantial financial portfolios, can now actively participate in the ETF ecosystem.

The procedure entails authorized participants utilizing cash, which can then be converted into bitcoin through an intermediary and securely stored by the ETF's custody provider. These details are outlined in a memorandum related to a meeting involving BlackRock, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and Nasdaq on November 28.

This development has instilled optimism regarding the potential approval of spot bitcoin ETFs by the SEC. If granted, it could have a profound impact on the digital assets industry by drawing in a significant influx of funds from retail investors. Traditionally, the prevailing perception was that major market-making firms with expertise in crypto, such as Jane Street, Jump Trading, and Virtu, would be the predominant authorized participants. However, the revised model now extends an invitation for banks to participate, potentially diversifying the pool of liquidity providers.

CEO of CF Benchmarks, Sui Chung, underscored the potential advantages of the adjusted model, asserting that it has the potential to enhance liquidity supporting ETF shares during trading by involving a more extensive array of authorized participants. Chung highlighted that, while trading firms like Jane Street possess expertise, they lack the extensive financial reserves that major American banks command. This shift in dynamics could redefine the contours of the digital assets market, offering fresh avenues for institutional engagement.

Read More: Binance's Accord with U.S. Authorities Boosts Crypto and Exchange: JPMorgan Report

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