BlackRock Amends S-1 Filing For Spot Ethereum ETF

The filing comes a week after the SEC approved 19b-4 forms for eight spot Ether ETFs.

By: Mehab Qureshi Loading...

BlackRock Amends S-1 Filing For Spot Ethereum ETF

BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, is moving closer to launching its spot Ethereum exchange-traded fund (ETF).

On May 28, the company filed an amended registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The updated S-1 form is required before the fund can begin trading.

The filing comes nearly a week after the SEC approved the 19b-4 forms for eight Ethereum ETFs, including BlackRock's iShares Ethereum Trust.

On May 24, the SEC granted a rule change requested by exchanges NYSE Arca, Nasdaq, and Cboe BZX to list and trade spot Ether ETFs. The ruling provided preliminary approval for BlackRock, Grayscale, Bitwise, VanEck, Fidelity, ARK and 21Shares, Invesco and Galaxy, and Franklin Templeton to launch their proposed spot Ether ETFs.

However, the SEC still needs to greenlight the S-1 forms before trading can start.

S-1 amendment

In the amended form, BlackRock said its fund was seeded on May 21, with its seed capital investor purchasing 400,000 shares for $25 each. The shares will be listed and traded under the ticker symbol "ETHA."

BlackRock notably specified that it will not mobilize any of the fund’s underlying Ether for staking.

Eric Balchunas, a senior ETF analyst at Bloomberg, said he expects the other applicants to file updated S-1 filings “soon.” Balchunas said that although the funds could begin trading before the end of June, he believes early July is more likely, anticipating one more round of requested adjustments from the SEC.

“Issuers and SEC are working towards spot Ethereum ETF launches,”said James Seyffart, another Bloomberg ETF analyst. “This is almost certainly the engagement we were looking for.”

Most applicants filed their initial S-1 forms in 2023.

Ether ETFs listed on DTCC

BlackRock is not the only fund that appears to be making progress, with the proposed spot Ether ETFs from Fidelity, VanEck, Franklin Templeton, and BlackRock all appearing on the Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation’s (DTCC) list of ETFs.

The DTCC is a financial services company that provides clearing, settlement, and information services for securities transactions. It streamlines the entire post-trade process for major securities exchanges worldwide.

Notably, Fidelity's Ethereum fund is listed under the ticker FETH but marked with an “N” — meaning it is not currently active.

When the DTCC lists a ticker, it means that the ticker symbol has been recorded in their system, indicating that the corresponding security can potentially be processed through DTCC's clearing and settlement services. However, this listing is a standard procedural step and does not imply that the security has received all necessary regulatory approvals for trading.

Vanguard won’t list Ether ETFs

However, not everyone is bullish on spot Ether ETFs.

Vanguard, an asset manager commanding $7.7 trillion in assets, told Blockworks that itwon’t allow spot Ether ETFs to trade on its platform.

“We believe that cryptocurrency products are not aligned with our [offerings] focused on asset classes such as equities, bonds, and cash, which Vanguard views as the building blocks of a well-balanced, long-term investment portfolio,” A Vanguard spokesperson said.

Vanguard did not allow spot Bitcoin ETFs to trade on its platform when they launched in January.

Hashdex withdraws application

SEC filings also show that Hashdex, a Brazilian investment firm, retracted its application for a spot Ethereum ETF after its 19b-4 form failed to receive SEC approval.

The proposal was withdrawn on May 24, just one day after the SEC greenlit eight rival funds.

Hashdex initially entered the Ethereum ETF race in November. Their proposed ETF would have offered exposure to both spot Ether and futures-based Ethereum contracts.