Fidelity Renews Efforts to Secure Approval for Spot Wise Origin BTC Trust, Becoming the 7th Applicant in 2023

Asset management giant Fidelity Investments has recently submitted an application for a spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF), as revealed in a filing by Cboe BZX Exchange to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on June 19.

Fidelity’s move comes after BlackRock’s application for a spot Bitcoin ETF on June 15, joining the ranks of WisdomTree, Invesco, Valkyrie, and others who have applied in recent days. According to Bloomberg, a total of seven applications for a spot Bitcoin ETF have been filed this year. Notably, Fidelity is making a second attempt at a spot BTC ETF, following in the footsteps of WisdomTree and Invesco.

Similar to other applicants, Fidelity’s filing emphasized the significance of the CME Bitcoin Futures market as it relates to the spot Bitcoin market, highlighting the need for a regulated and secure spot Bitcoin ETF. The application argued that the absence of such an ETF exposes US investors to substantial risks, forcing them to seek alternative, riskier means of gaining crypto asset exposure. The filing also mentioned past instances of riskier alternatives, such as bankruptcies of FTX, Celsius, BlockFi, and Voyager Digital. It further suggested that investors may resort to purchasing shares in unrelated companies like Tesla and MicroStrategy, which have significant Bitcoin investments, to indirectly access BTC exposure.

If approved, Fidelity Digital Assets Services, a regulated custodian licensed by the New York Department of Financial Services, would be responsible for safeguarding the trust’s Bitcoin holdings. Additionally, Cboe BZX stated its intention to establish a surveillance-sharing agreement with a US-based cryptocurrency exchange.

Despite numerous applications, the SEC has yet to grant approval for a spot Bitcoin ETF. Fidelity’s renewed efforts are tied to its Wise Origin Bitcoin Trust product, which it initially applied for in March 2021. The previous application underwent two extensions of deliberation before being rejected.

As a renowned asset manager with approximately $11 trillion in assets under administration, Fidelity’s entry into the spot Bitcoin ETF arena carries substantial weight in the industry. The approval of a spot Bitcoin ETF would provide investors with a regulated and accessible avenue for gaining exposure to the cryptocurrency.

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