BlackRock would like to start an Ethereum-based ETF, the financial services giant said in a filing with Nasdaq on Thursday.
The iShares Ethereum Trust would hold ether, the token of the Ethereum blockchain and the second largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization. The new product must still receive regulatory approval. Earlier Thursday, the company registered the Ethereum Trust in Delaware, known for its favorable corporate tax codes.
“The Shares are intended to constitute a simple means of making an investment similar to an investment in ether rather than by acquiring, holding and trading ether directly on a peer-to-peer or other basis or via a digital asset exchange,” the filing said, adding that “the Shares have been designed to remove the obstacles represented by the complexities and operational burdens involved in a direct investment in ether.”
Ether spent Thursday on the upswing amid the BlackRock ETF news and was recently up more than 11% to trade at roughly $2,100, its highest level since mid April, according to CoinMarketCap data. ETH has risen more than 16% over the past week and is up about 75% this year.
The combination of events is the latest evidence of BlackRock’s rising interest in digital assets. In June, the company filed an application for a spot bitcoin ETF with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), buoying investor hopes that the presence of the world’s largest asset manager alongside 11 other applicants would sway the agency to reverse its pattern of rejections.
In late October, a report indicated that top market makers Jane Street and Jump Trading have offered to provide liquidity to BlackRock’s bitcoin ETF once approved.
The largest cryptocurrency in market value was recently changing hands at $36,542, a 2% gain from Wednesday, same time. Optimism about a potential ETF approval drove BTC 27% higher in October. Bitcoin is up 115% year-to-date.