BlackRock, Nasdaq Officials Meets SEC to Deliberate on Spot Bitcoin ETF

In a December 19 report, the high-profile asset managers teamed up to meet the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to discuss matters concerning the launching of the Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). The officials from BlackRock and Nasdaq attended the meeting and engaged in an intense discussion concerning the significance of approving the Bitcoin ETF.

SEC Meets Officials From BlackRock and Nasdaq to Deliberate Approval of Bitcoin ETF

In a memo, the SEC indicated that BlackRock’s Head of Digital Asset Division Mitchnick and officials from the ETF division attended the meeting. Other participants included the chief regulatory officer of Nasdaq, Joseph Cusick, and officials from the Exchange-Traded Product (ETP) division, including Listings Alison Doyle and Giang Bui.

The officials from BlackRock and Nasdaq met with top-level executives from the SEC, including Eric Juzenas, David Shillman, and other managing directors from the Division of Trading and Markets.

The primary objective of the December 19 meeting revolved around the proposed rule titled NASDAQ Rule 5711(d) that seeks to change the procedure to list and trade shares of the iShares Bitcoin Trust.

The NASDAQ Rule 5711(d) outlines the procedure and requirements for listing Commodity-based Trust Shares on the Nasdaq stock market. The new provision guides the investors and businesses the proper procedures for the initial and continued listing on the Nasdaq platform.

Also, the Nasdaq proposed rule highlights the compliance measures for investors and businesses. These compliance requirements aim to restore the financial market’s integrity and protect consumers from fraudulent business activities.

BlackRock Pushes for Approval of Bitcoin ETF

The meeting between the regulators and key industrial players in the financial sector came days after the BlackRock team amended the S-1 application document. The revision of the BlackRock S-1 application aimed at shifting the status of the proposed iShares Bitcoin Trust listed under the ticker symbol IBIT Bitcoin option to the cash-only ETF.

The changes aimed to allow the investors to trade the IBIT using cash only. Despite the change on the BlackRock application, the asset manager contacted the SEC regularly to discuss the spot Bitcoin ETF.

Last month, the BlackRock officials met with the US regulators to discuss the new provision to support the financial institution in offering the ETF. The series of meetings attended by the BlackRock team aimed to persuade the regulators to approve the pending Bitcoin ETF submitted in June.

For years, the regulators have rejected the Bitcoin ETF’s approval due to the risk involved in these financial products and non-compliance with the law. Citing the risk associated with offering certain financial products, the SEC has regularly been changing the requirements for the spot Bitcoin ETF.

A few months ago, the SEC demanded that asset managers revise their applications by including the surveillance sharing agreement to address market manipulation risks.

SEC Levies New Compliance Measures to Combat Market Manipulation

Despite the reluctance of the regulators to approve the Bitcoin ETF, the BlackRock team anticipates that with the dozen applications submitted, the regulators will soon change their decision.

The BlackRock team forecasts that in 2024, the SEC will approve the pending Bitcoin ETF simultaneously. The BlackRock projection, backed by the series of closed-door meetings between the regulators and multiple asset managers, ignited optimism that the SEC would soon approve the Bitcoin ETF.

In support of the BlackRock prediction, analysts from Bloomberg and JP Morgan have also forecasted that the SEC approving the spot Bitcoin ETF in Q1 of 2024.

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