November 9, 2023

Nasdaq Submits Filing for iShares Ethereum Trust ETF Backed by BlackRock's Proposal

BlackRock, the world's leading asset manager, has officially revealed its efforts towards a spot ether ETF in the United States, as outlined in a 19b-4 filing submitted on Thursday.

The filing for the proposed iShares Ethereum Trust was conducted by Nasdaq just hours after BlackRock registered an entity in Delaware. With a growing interest in crypto over recent months, the asset manager is eagerly anticipating the Securities and Exchange Commission's decision on a spot bitcoin ETF application.

According to the filing, the proposed Ethereum Spot ETF would be utilizing Coinbase Custody Trust Company as its custodian and will rely on the CME CF ether-dollar Reference Rate - New York Variant.

Nasdaq specified in the filing that the Trust's investment objective is to broadly mirror the performance of ether's price. Following the news of the Delaware entity, ether experienced a surge earlier in the day, climbing 10.16% to $2,081.

Several other asset management firms such as Grayscale, Ark Invest, ProShares, and Valkyrie have also filed applications for spot ether ETFs. However, any approval could be a lengthy process, as the SEC has previously postponed existing applications for proposed spot bitcoin funds multiple times.

Nasdaq referenced a recent victory for Grayscale Investments, where three judges ruled in favor of the firm's bid for a spot bitcoin ETF, compelling the SEC to re-examine it. This decision shed light on the agency's differing treatment of spot and futures ETFs, fostering hope within the industry for a spot bitcoin product in the future. As the SEC has given the green light to futures-based ether ETFs, Nasdaq emphasized that this move should pave the way for spot ether products in the market, as stated in Thursday's filing.

"Given that the Commission has approved ETFs that offer exposure to ETH futures, which themselves are priced based on the underlying spot ETH market, the Sponsor believes that the Commission must also approve ETPs that offer exposure to spot ETH, like the Trust," according to the filing.
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