In a recent development, officials from BlackRock, Nasdaq, and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) convened for their second meeting within a month. The focus of their discussion was on the amendments required to facilitate the listing of a Bitcoin Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF), as per an official document.
The conversation revolved around the proposed amendments by The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC to list and trade shares of the iShares Bitcoin Trust, as per Nasdaq Rule 5711(d), according to the memorandum.
Nasdaq Rule 5711(d) sets forth explicit standards and regulatory protocols for the listing and trading of Commodity-Based Trust Shares on the Nasdaq Exchange. It outlines the prerequisites for both initial and continued listing, in addition to monitoring and compliance procedures to uphold market integrity and safeguard against illicit activities.
BlackRock’s Strategy: Safeguarding Bitcoin ETFs
One of the key concerns of the SEC is market manipulation related to Bitcoin prices. To mitigate this, BlackRock has proposed a “surveillance-sharing agreement” between exchanges. This agreement allows for the sharing of information about market trading activity, clearing activity, and customer identification, reducing the possibility of market manipulation.
Despite the possibility of the SEC prohibiting Bitcoin ETFs, there is a prevalent anticipation among professionals in the field that such funds will make their debut in the United States early next year. This optimism, stemming from the belief that a Bitcoin ETF will ultimately gain approval, seems to have positively influenced Bitcoin’s market value.
Gary Gensler, the Chair of the U.S. SEC, despite his known skepticism towards cryptocurrencies, has indicated in recent public statements that he is open to considering the views of his team on the subject of a potential Bitcoin ETF. This receptiveness from the SEC Chair, along with the forward-thinking stance of BlackRock, has fostered a growing sense of positivity regarding the prospects of Bitcoin ETFs.
In conclusion, BlackRock’s ongoing discussions with the SEC represent a significant step towards the potential approval of a Bitcoin ETF. This development not only signifies the growing acceptance of cryptocurrencies but also their impending integration into mainstream financial products.