The huge asset manager was denied approval for the Wise Origin Trust last year; now, it is joining a long line of spot fund hopefuls.
Asset manager Fidelity Investments has filed an application for a spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF), according to a filing by Cboe BZX Exchange with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) dated June 19.
Fidelity’s application follows BlackRock’s spot Bitcoin ETF application on June 15 and those of WisdomTree, Invesco and Valkyrie in the following days. According to Bloomberg, seven applications for a spot Bitcoin (BTC) ETF have been filed this year. Like WisdomTree and Invesco, Fidelity was making a second try at a spot BTC ETF. Similar to other spot BTC ETF applications, this one stated that the CME Bitcoin Futures market “represents a regulated market of significant size as it relates […] to the spot bitcoin market.” It argued the point in detail and cited extensive research to support its view. The 193-page application said:
“The lack of a Spot Bitcoin ETP [exchange-traded product] exposes U.S. investor assets to significant risk because investors that would otherwise seek crypto asset exposure through a Spot Bitcoin ETP are forced to find alternative exposure through generally riskier means.”
It went on to mention the bankrupt FTX, Celsius, BlockFi and Voyager Digital as riskier alternatives of the past. It also argued that investors may buy shares in companies such as Tesla and MicroStrategy — that is, unrelated businesses that have significant BTC investments — to gain BTC exposure themselves.
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Fidelity Digital Assets Services, a regulated custodian licensed by the New York Department of Financial Services, would be responsible for custody of the trust’s BTC. Cboe BZX said it would enter into a surveillance-sharing agreement with a United States-based cryptocurrency exchange.
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“It looks like a spot ETF will probably get approved. There’s massive political pressure to approve one. The circumstances have changed & now there’s a way for the SEC to approve it without… pic.twitter.com/NkEepPPbnF
— Crypto News Alerts (@CryptoNewsYes) June 28, 2023
The SEC has yet to approve a single application for a spot BTC ETF. The Fidelity 19b-4 form indicated that the firm is reviving its Wise Origin Bitcoin Trust product, which it filed an application for in March 2021. That application was rejected after two extensions of deliberations.
Fidelity has about $11 trillion in assets under administration.
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