The race for a spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) in the United States has gained an unexpected participant as Swiss asset manager Pando Asset enters the competition. This development coincides with investment giant BlackRock’s efforts to revise its ETF model based on feedback from the country’s securities regulator. As the crypto community eagerly awaits the SEC’s decision on several pending Bitcoin ETF applications, Pando’s late entry adds a new dimension to the unfolding narrative.
Pando Asset Emerges as the 13th Entrant
On November 29, Pando Asset submitted a Form S-1 to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for the Pando Asset Spot Bitcoin Trust. Like its competitors, Pando’s trust aims to track Bitcoin’s price, utilizing the custody services of Coinbase to hold the cryptocurrency on behalf of the trust.
Pando now joins a pool of twelve other entities, including industry heavyweights like BlackRock, ARK Invest, and Grayscale, vying for SEC approval. Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas expressed curiosity and some skepticism about Pando’s late filing, questioning the potential implications if the ETF is among those predicted to be approved on January 10.
BlackRock’s Meeting with SEC and Revised Model
Simultaneously, BlackRock engaged in discussions with the SEC on November 28, presenting a revised ETF model to address concerns raised in a prior meeting. The revision focuses on the redemption model, specifically addressing balance sheet impacts and risks to U.S. broker-dealers dealing with offshore crypto entities. The proposed solution involves the offshore entity acquiring Bitcoin from Coinbase and pre-paying the U.S. registered broker-dealer in cash, circumventing the direct handling of Bitcoin, which broker-dealers are restricted from. This move by BlackRock reflects the industry’s commitment to addressing regulatory concerns and streamlining the approval process.
As Pando Asset and BlackRock enter the Bitcoin ETF race, the anticipation for the SEC’s decision on January 10 grows. Analysts, including Eric Balchunas, speculate on the simultaneous approval of multiple ETFs. Pando’s late entry and BlackRock’s regulatory refinements highlight the dynamic nature of crypto investments. While the significance of January 10 remains uncertain, these developments showcase the industry’s resilience and commitment to navigating regulatory challenges.