Franklin Templeton Submits Application for spot Bitcoin ETF

Asset management firm Franklin Templeton has submitted an application to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) seeking approval to launch a spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). This move comes following the recent delays in decisions on spot ETF applications from other prominent players in the cryptocurrency market, including WisdomTree, Valkyrie, Fidelity, VanEck, Bitwise, and Invesco, which the SEC announced on August 31. Furthermore, a significant court ruling on August 29 mandated that the SEC consider Grayscale’s application to convert its Bitcoin (BTC) futures ETF into a spot ETF.

Franklin Templeton’s proposal outlines the structure of the ETF as a trust, with Coinbase handling the custody of Bitcoin (BTC), and Bank of New York Mellon serving as the cash custodian and administrator. If approved, the fund’s shares will be available for trading on the Cboe BZX Exchange. The SEC is expected to make a decision on the application by October 16.

In its application, Franklin Templeton acknowledges the inherent risks associated with regulatory uncertainties in the digital asset market:

“Digital asset markets in the U.S. exist in a state of regulatory uncertainty, and adverse legislative or regulatory developments could significantly harm the value of Bitcoin or the Shares, such as by banning, restricting, or imposing onerous conditions on the use of Bitcoins, mining activity, digital wallets, the provision of services related to trading and custody of Bitcoin, the operation of the Bitcoin network, or the digital asset markets as a whole.”

To provide daily valuations for the ETF, the asset manager has partnered with CF Benchmarks, a digital asset index provider regulated in the United Kingdom. CF Benchmarks will base these valuations on data from various exchanges, including Coinbase, Bitstamp, iBit, Kraken, Gemini, and LMAX Digital, with trade values indexed at 5-minute intervals.

Franklin Templeton, a heavyweight in the financial industry with $1.5 trillion in assets under management, is making this move amid a positive market sentiment, as Bitcoin’s price has surged by over 4% at the time of this report.

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