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Bitcoin ETF on Horizon as BlackRock and Coinbase Reportedly in Talks

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BlackRock and Coinbase in Talks To Launch Bitcoin ETF

The fight for a Bitcoin ETF is far from over. Despite all the rejections from the US Securities and Exchange Commissions, proposals regarding Bitcoin ETFs continue to appear. In a recent development, Coinbase might soon launch a Bitcoin ETF and even approached BlackRock for help, according to Business Insider citing anonymous sources. Coinbase’s interest in a Bitcoin ETF comes amid the investment and Bitcoin community still waiting for the SEC’s delayed decision regarding the ETF from VanEck and SolidX. The SEC rejected all other Bitcoin ETF proposals from the likes of Gemini and Bitwise.

A Bitcoin ETF from BlackRock and Coinbase Is a Big Deal

Both Coinbase and BlackRock are giants in their respective industries. Coinbase is the largest cryptocurrency exchange in America. It has operations in over 30 countries and bitcoin transaction and storage operations in most countries around the globe. Recently, Coinbase has expanded into other areas, such as venture capital. BlackRock is the largest asset management company in the world. It has assets under management worth more than $6.0 trillion. In 2009, BlackRock acquired iShares from Barclays. iShares is also the largest ETF provider in the world. In addition, in 1993 iShares was the first to launch an ETF in the US.

Earlier this year, BlackRock’s CEO Larry Fink told Reuters that they are looking at blockchain technology and cryptocurrency. However, Fink added that he doesn’t see a “huge demand for cryptocurrencies.” In addition, in another Reuters interview last year, Fink said that bitcoin was a speculative investment. He considered that the cryptocurrency gained value due to its anonymity. Moreover, Fink has previously said that BlackRock’s clients had expressed no interest in cryptocurrencies and crypto funds such as a Bitcoin ETF. Therefore, it’s unclear whether the talks between BlackRock and Coinbase will lead to any results.

In the meantime, it’s good news Coinbase and BlackRock might be working together on a Bitcoin ETF. Due to their size and influence, they have a high chance of success. In addition, the fact that BlackRock might express interest in Bitcoin gives the cryptocurrency a new level of recognition.

More Positive News from Washington

As mentioned earlier, the SEC has rejected most proposals for Bitcoin ETFs. Last month, it postponed its decision on the ETF from SolidX and VanEck. Currently, the SEC is scheduled to issue its verdict on September 30. However, it may further delay it by 240 days from the date published in the Federal Register. In the meantime, yesterday the SEC halted the trading of Bitcoin Tracker One, a Sweden-based Exchange-Traded Note that has been recently listed on the US over-the-counter market. In its order, the SEC said it considers that “there is a lack of current, consistent and accurate information concerning Bitcoin Tracker One (Ticker Symbol: CXBTF) and Ether Tracker One (Ticker Symbol: CETHF), issued by XBT Provider AB (publ) resulting in confusion amongst market participants regarding these financial instruments.” More specifically, the regulator pointed out that in some materials, Bitcoin Tracker one was listed as an ETF. 

However, there has been some positive news that suggests a change in the SEC’s position towards the Bitcoin ETF. Last week, the Senate confirmed Elad Roisman to join the SEC. Roisman has previously expressed his positive position towards cryptocurrencies and blockchain. At a Senate Banking Committee hearing in July, Roisman said that the SEC must approach new challenges, such as blockchain and ICOs in a transparent and fair way.

Roisman will be the second pro-crypto Commissioner at the SEC. In January, the Senate appointed Commissioner Hester Peirce. Peirce previously said that the SEC should have approved the Winklevoss-backed Bitcoin ETF. And similarly with Citigroup’s proposed digital asset receipt. could add to this. With the appointment of Roisman, two out of four SEC Commissioners are open to cryptocurrencies. This suggests that the process of reviewing Bitcoin ETFs might go differently. In his way, Coinbase and BlackRock might have perfect timing for jumping into the Bitcoin ETF race.