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BlackRock Files To Launch A Spot Bitcoin ETF

Asset management company BlackRock (BLK) has filed with regulators to launch the first spot Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF) in the United States.

BlackRock, which is the world's largest asset manager with more than $8 trillion U.S. under management, filed an application with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to launch the iShares Bitcoin Trust.

If approved, the ETF would give investors in the U.S. and beyond easy exposure to Bitcoin without having to directly own a cryptocurrency.

However, the SEC has long resisted attempts to launch a spot Bitcoin ETF, claiming it is too risky for investors.

The Wall Street regulator is currently embroiled in a legal battle with Grayscale over whether that firm should be allowed to convert its Grayscale Bitcoin Trust into an exchange-traded fund.

A court decision in the Grayscale case is expected by year’s end.

The proposed BlackRock fund will likely face strong pushback from the SEC, and the filing could be pulled before an ETF is ever launched, said several analysts.

BlackRock’s attempt to launch a Bitcoin ETF comes as cryptocurrency prices slump and the sector faces growing scrutiny from lawmakers in Washington, D.C.

The SEC recently sued crypto exchanges Coinbase (COIN) and Binance for allegedly dealing in unregistered securities.

BlackRock has listed Coinbase as the Bitcoin custodian for its proposed ETF.

The stock of BlackRock has gained 21% over the past 12 months to trade at $711.49 U.S. per share.