Nasdaq has confirmed its involvement in a new spot Ether ETF, marking a significant step forward for cryptocurrency investment vehicles in traditional markets. The filing for an iShares Ethereum Trust ETF aims to provide investors with a regulated product that tracks the value of Ether before expenses. Coinbase Custody has been appointed as the custodian, while the CME CF Bitcoin Reference Rate from CF Benchmarks will be used as the benchmark.
This new initiative follows BlackRock’s previous filing for a Bitcoin spot ETF in June, which is still pending SEC approval. The anticipation around BlackRock’s crypto ETFs has been building since August when the ticker IBTC, representing their expected Bitcoin ETF, appeared on the Depository Trust & Clearing Corp’s website. Market participants such as Virtu Financial are reportedly in discussions to provide liquidity for this proposed fund.
The application for the iShares Ethereum Trust ETF was registered in Delaware one week prior to its submission to the SEC. Shortly thereafter, Nasdaq corroborated with its own related filing. This development coincides with a bullish trend in cryptocurrency markets; both Bitcoin and Ethereum experienced approximately 4% increases in value immediately after BlackRock applied for their Ethereum-based ETF.
Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock, has previously commented on the accidental boost in Bitcoin prices due to incorrect reports of an SEC-approved spot ETF. He also linked the attractiveness of cryptocurrency investments to their potential as safe-haven assets amid global crises such as wars and terrorism threats. Market watchers recall how the approval of a Spot Gold ETF by the SEC in 2004 led to a substantial increase in gold prices over time.
Cryptocurrency enthusiasts are now speculating about future products such as a potential Spot Solana ETF from BlackRock after their filings for Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs. However, experts like Bloomberg’s Seyffart and CF Benchmarks have pointed out regulatory challenges that could delay such a product without an existing futures contract on exchanges like CME Group.
At present, Ether is trading at $1,977 despite reaching its yearly peak at $2,132 during November’s bull run. Earlier this year, in April 2023, ETH hit a high of $2,120. Amidst these developments, BlackRock has dispelled rumors about an XRP-linked ETF that arose from a misinterpreted filing but still managed to briefly push XRP prices up by +10%.
As the market awaits the SEC’s decision on these groundbreaking ETFs, investors are closely monitoring how regulatory advancements will shape the landscape of cryptocurrency investment products.