New York exchange-traded fund provider WisdomTree Investments has filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to launch a Bitcoin ETF.
WisdomTree’s Delaware subsidiary WisdomTree Bitcoin Trust filed an S-1 form with the SEC on March 11. The firm currently has more than $70 billion in assets under management in its ETFs and exchange-traded products offerings.
WisdomTree has joined a competitive race to be the first United States company to launch such a product, which track the value of an equity, asset or commodity. Other contenders include VanEck, which filed on Dec. 30, Valkyrie Digital Assets on Jan. 22, and Bitwise Asset Management and New York Digital Investment Group in February. Recent rumors say investment bank giant Goldman Sachs could soon join them.
The stampede to launch a Bitcoin ETF kicked off with the departure of SEC chairman Jay Clayton in late December. A staunch Bitcoin skeptic who pointed to market manipulation as a reason to deny earlier ETF proposals, the Jan. 18 announcement that he would be replaced by MIT digital asset professor Gary Gensler redoubled it. The roaring success of Canada’s Purpose Bitcoin ETF, which attracted more than $500 million in its first few days in early February, only heightened the anticipation.
WisdomTree hopes to launch its Bitcoin ETF on Chicago Board Options Exchange’s (CBOE) BZX trading platform under ticker symbol BTCW. Earlier this month, CBOE filed a request to list VanEck’s ETF.
Institutional investors looking for regulated exposure to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have turned to closed-end funds such as the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC). Unfortunately, the shares of GBTC have varied widely in price from the value of the Bitcoins it holds, ranging from a 40% premium to a 13% discount.
Reports on March 12 said Grayscale is considering applying for permission to launch its own Bitcoin ETF if the SEC proves amenable.