BlackRock Launches iShares Bitcoin Trust ETF

And the spot bitcoin ETF launches keep on coming. This time, coming from the world’s largest fund manager BlackRock. BlackRock’s spot bitcoin ETF, the iShares Bitcoin Trust ETF (IBIT), begins trading today on Nasdaq. IBIT seeks to track the performance of the price of bitcoin.

Dominik Rohe, head of BlackRock’s Americas iShares ETF and index investing business, said IBIT “expands access to bitcoin for investors.”

“For the first time, investors will be able to incorporate bitcoin in a consistent, convenient, and cost-effective way,” Rohe added.

See more: “‘Landmark’ Bitcoin Moment Arrives With Approval of Spot Bitcoin ETFs

BlackRock’s global head of digital assets Robert Mitchnick called IBIT “a natural progression of our efforts over multiple years.” He added: “This bitcoin ETF… builds on the foundational capabilities we’ve established to date in the digital assets space.”

“As the ETF industry leader, BlackRock’s bitcoin launch comes with some relative strengths,” said VettaFi Head of Research Todd Rosenbluth. “We believe the firm has the ability to educate ETF centric advisors interested in cryptocurrency.”

IBIT carries an expense ratio of 0.25%, with a one-year waiver reducing the fee to 0.12% on the first $5 billion assets under management.

Moving Day for Spot Bitcoin ETFs

For years, the SEC has refused to give the green light to a bitcoin ETF. But on Wednesday, the SEC approved 11 spot bitcoin ETFs for trading, including IBIT.

“We are now faced with a new set of filings similar to those we have disapproved in the past,” wrote SEC Chairman Gary Gensler. “Circumstances, however, have changed.”

Gensler cited the SEC failing “to adequately explain its reasoning” in court for “disapproving the listing and trading of Grayscale’s proposed ETP.” In August, the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Grayscale’s petition to convert its flagship fund, GBTC, to a bitcoin ETF.

“Based on these circumstances and those discussed more fully in the approval order, I feel the most sustainable path forward is to approve the listing and trading of these spot bitcoin ETP shares,” Gensler added.

When BlackRock’s iShares arm in June filed for an ETF that would hold physical bitcoin, Rosenbluth said, “if a product were to go to market, it would be a huge success given BlackRock’s industry leadership and connections with advisors.”

Other notable spot bitcoin ETFs that begin trading today include the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust ETF (GBTC) and the Bitwise Bitcoin ETF (BITB). Fidelity, WisdomTree, and VanEck have also launched funds today.

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