VanEck Files 5th Bitcoin ETF Amendment, Chooses “HODL” Ticker

VanEck submitted its fifth amended application for a Spot Bitcoin ETF on December 8, expecting listing under the "HODL" ticker.
hodl ticker vaneck thumb

In a recent development, asset manager VanEck submitted its fifth amended application for a Spot Bitcoin Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF) on December 8. What sets VanEck‘s ETF apart is its expected listing under the HODL ticker, a term familiar for Bitcoin enthusiasts as a humorous wordplay on “hold” or an acronym for “Hold On for Dear Life.”

VanEck Bitcoin ETF Under HODL Ticker

This amended filing, made with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), sheds light on updates to the VanEck Bitcoin Trust, a proposed Spot Bitcoin ETF. In particular, the unconventional choice for its ticker symbol “HODL” has helped VanEck draw attention, especially on social media platforms like X. Analysts note that it may resonate well with Bitcoin enthusiasts but might be less understood by older generations, colloquially referred to as “Boomers.”

Eric Balchunas, a senior ETF analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, considers this choice a departure from the more conventional options adopted by competitors like BlackRock and Fidelity. He stated:

“VanEck’s bitcoin ETF ticker will be $HODL, a departure from the more boring Boomer-y choices from BlackRock, Invesco, and Fidelity. Who knows though, maybe smart to differentiate here. Plus, VanEck specializes in niche and has a solid retail base.”

Industry-Wide Push: BlackRock and Bitwise’s S-1 Filings

Alongside VanEck, industry giants BlackRock and Bitwise have also submitted amended S-1 filings for their Spot Bitcoin ETFs, signaling a collective effort within the sector. These ongoing amendments and engagements with the SEC suggest a collaborative approach to address regulatory concerns, potentially paving the way for the first Spot Bitcoin ETF in the U.S.

In its latest filing, BlackRock has emphasized monitoring for unusual price movements, strengthening anti-money laundering measures, and ensuring compliance and security through audited statements. It stresses working with well-vetted third-party service providers to ensure robust KYC processes.

Related reading: John Deaton Warns SEC Might Consider Bitcoin A Security

Besides VanEck and BlackRock, companies like Fidelity, Valkyrie, and Franklin Templeton are also in the race for an approved Bitcoin ETF. While the SEC hasn’t explicitly supported the filings, recent discussions with these firms suggest active efforts to address technical details in their proposals. Notably, Bloomberg analyst James Seyffart notes that the SEC is guiding multiple applicants similarly, explaining:

“It just means that the wheel is still turning. Both the SEC and these issuers are working hard to iron things out. These filings are likely the result of many conversations and a lot of man hours on and between both sides.”

VanEck anticipates SEC approval for the Spot Bitcoin ETF in January, projecting substantial inflows of $2.4 billion in Q1 2024. Meanwhile, many believe that the SEC is arranging for a mass approval of multiple Bitcoin Spot ETFs on or before Jan 10, 2024.

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