After BlackRock, another asset management giant, Fidelity, is on the verge of submitting an application for the first spot-based Bitcoin ETF in the United States. The asset manager previously applied unsuccessfully a year ago but seems to have regained confidence, much like other ETF providers.
Since BlackRock's application for a spot Bitcoin ETF, the SEC's file has been filling up with more applications. In the past two weeks, fund companies WisdomTree, Invesco, VanEck, and Bitwise have filed applications for Bitcoin spot ETFs with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Now, Fidelity is reportedly preparing to resubmit its application, as reported by The Block, citing an anonymous source.
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Fidelity the next giant in the race for the first spot Bitcoin ETF
Fidelity Investments is one of the world's largest and most diversified financial service providers, offering a wide range of asset management, retirement, and brokerage services. Currently, the company manages assets worth over $4.5 trillion and serves more than 30 million individual investors, institutions, and financial intermediaries worldwide. Since 2018, the asset management giant has also been offering services in the crypto space through its subsidiary, Fidelity Digital Assets.
Fidelity filed its first application for a spot-based Bitcoin ETF in the spring of 2021. However, just a year later, the SEC rejected the "Wise Origin Bitcoin Trust." This would be Fidelity's second attempt to launch a Bitcoin ETF. The optimism likely stems from the application by financial giant BlackRock, which prompted several other providers to enter the race. According to Bloomberg Intelligence, there have been over 30 attempts to launch a Bitcoin spot product to date.
A decision by the SEC in August?
Some Bloomberg analysts associate the recent wave of Bitcoin ETF applications with the potential outcome of the legal dispute between Grayscale and the SEC. Following repeated rejections of their spot ETF proposals, the crypto conglomerate initiated legal action against the regulatory authority last July. Grayscale has been arguing for nearly a year that the regulatory agency should not differentiate between futures-based Bitcoin ETFs, which were already approved in October 2021, and spot-based Bitcoin ETFs. This argument has found favor with various US judges throughout the course of the court proceedings.
If the legal dispute were to favor Grayscale, the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) would be converted into a spot ETF. Bloomberg analyst Elliott Stein estimates the probability of this happening at a significant 70%. Perhaps the SEC now wants to mitigate the impending defeat by approving other spot Bitcoin ETFs, rendering Grayscale's legal victory meaningless. Experts anticipate a decision in August.