Bitcoin Jumps on Speculation BlackRock ‘May Know Something’

BlackRock Inc.’s surprise filing for a US spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund last week has led to a flurry of similar applications from rival issuers and speculation that the asset manager has key insights that will lead to approval of its application.

Bitcoin has jumped more than 20% since the filing to more than $30,000. On Tuesday, Invesco Ltd. renewed its application for the physically-backed Invesco Galaxy Bitcoin ETF within hours of WisdomTree’s filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission for the WisdomTree Bitcoin Trust. Days earlier, Bitwise submitted plans for a similar vehicle.

The rush of applications comes in the wake of BlackRock’s bid to launch the iShares Bitcoin Trust, which landed with US regulators last week. Given BlackRock’s status as the world’s biggest money manager with roughly $9 trillion, the filing is being taken as a sign that the SEC might finally give the green light to a physically-backed Bitcoin ETF — a structure the regulator has repeatedly rejected, citing risks such as fraud and manipulation in the spot market for the token.

“When the world’s largest asset manager makes a move like this, other issuers are going to take notice because the stakes are so high in the Bitcoin ETF race,” Nate Geraci, president of the advisory firm The ETF Store. “There has been absolutely no indication that the SEC is ready to entertain a spot Bitcoin ETF. The likely assumption is that BlackRock may know something.”

Bitcoin Bounces After BlackRock's ETF Filing

BlackRock declined to comment on the speculation Wednesday. At the time of the filing, a spokeswoman cited regulatory restrictions.