BlackRock has made structural changes to its application to launch a spot Bitcoin ETF in the U.S.
According to the updated filing, Wall Street banks can now create new shares in the fund based on fiat, not just cryptocurrencies. To do this, they need to obtain the status of an authorized participant (AP).
The changes open the way to ETFs for regulated U.S. banks that cannot hold cryptocurrency. They will be able to interact with the BlackRock Bitcoin fund as an AP.
Fiat shares of the fund can be exchanged for bitcoins through an intermediary. In this case, the cryptocurrency will be stored with the ETF custodial provider.
Presumably, the application was updated after BlackRock representatives met with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) led by Gary Gensler on Dec. 11. This is the third meeting in recent weeks, with BlackRock previously meeting with the SEC on Nov. 20 and 28.
The SEC has until Jan. 15 to decide on BlackRock’s application, with a final deadline set for Mar. 15. Grayscale, Bitwise, VanEck, WisdomTree, Invesco Galaxy, Fidelity, and Hashdex are among the other financial firms awaiting the SEC’s decision.