Yesterday, the news of the BlackRock’s iShares Spot Bitcoin Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF) being listed on the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) caught everyone by surprise. The ETF appeared under the ticker IBTC on the DTCC website despite not being granted approval by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). As many argued, the appearance of this ETF on the Nasdaq clearing agency’s list may suggest potential approval by SEC.
The Appearance of “IBTC” on DTCC
In a Twitter thread on October 23, Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas emphasized that the DTCC listing is a crucial step in the process of launching a Bitcoin ETF. The iShares Bitcoin ETF, bearing the ticker symbol IBTC, is potentially earmarked for listing on the Nasdaq stock exchange. The Nasdaq submitted an application for listing and trading shares of this investment vehicle back in June.
The DTCC serves as a colossal backbone of the U.S. financial markets, managing an astonishing $2.3 quadrillion in annual stock sales. This makes it the world’s most extensive financial clearinghouse, as pointed out by Eric Balchunas in the Twitter update.
Eric Balchunas pointed out that the iShares Bitcoin ETF is the first Spot ETF to be listed on DTCC, highlighting BlackRock’s proactive approach in handling pre-launch logistics. He suggested that this could be a sign that the firm is confident about the SEC’s approval or is preparing as if approval is imminent. The application gives the SEC until January 10, 2024, to make a final decision on the ETF’s approval or denial.
BlackRock’s ETF Application
Last week, BlackRock made an important amendment to its application with the SEC, hinting at significant developments. The amendment revealed that a seed investor was poised to inject capital into their product during the current month, October.
While the exact date was not disclosed in the public portion of the amendment, the timing of this investment underscores the increasing momentum and anticipation surrounding BlackRock’s latest venture in the financial market. This move is in line with the investment giant’s continued efforts to make strategic and impactful strides within the industry, further fueling speculations about the potential success of their forthcoming product.
Impacts of a Spot Bitcoin ETF
If BlackRock’s application for a Spot Bitcoin ETF is approved, it could set a precedent for several other similar ETF filings currently under review by the SEC. These include applications from ARK Investment, Fidelity, and Valkyrie. Up to this point, the SEC hasn’t granted approval for a Spot Bitcoin ETF to be listed on a U.S. exchange but began allowing investment products linked to Bitcoin futures in October 2021.
A U.S. appellate court mandated the SEC to review a Spot Bitcoin ETF application from Grayscale Investments, following a decision from August 29. Grayscale subsequently submitted a registration statement to the SEC to list shares of its Bitcoin trust on the New York Stock Exchange Arca under the ticker symbol GBTC on October 19. This development represents significant regulatory progress in the Bitcoin ETF space.
Following the news of BlackRock’s IBTC appearance on DTCC, bitcoin’s price skyrocketed to $34,000, jumping an astonishing %10 in less than 12 hours. At the time of writing, bitcoin is trading at around $34,500.