BlackRock has changed how its spot Bitcoin exchange traded fund (ETF) will work, potentially opening the doors for major U.S. banks to participate in the crypto industry.
In a memo filed on Nov. 28, BlackRock disclosed a new in-kind redemption “prepay” model that will allow banks to act as authorized participants (APs) for the ETF. Essentially, this mechanism would enable them to bypass the restrictions that don’t allow them to hold crypto on their own balance sheets.
Under the model, the APs could exchange cash for Bitcoin through an intermediary and be held by the ETF custody provider, which in BlackRock’s case is Coinbase Custody.
The new model was proposed in a meeting with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which was attended by six executives from BlackRock and three executives from the SEC.
Executives from BlackRock said that the model addresses the SEC staff’s concern with the in-kind redemption model, and offers benefits including the passing on of execution risks to crypto market makers as opposed to investors, and superior resistance to market manipulation.
BlackRock, Fidelity, Grayscale Investment and Franklin Templeton have met with the SEC over the last couple of weeks to discuss their spot Bitcoin ETF filings, according to memos reviewed by Bloomberg ETF analyst James Seyffart.
As you can see from the screenshots — both the Division of Trading & Markets AND the Division of Corporate Finance were present at each of these meetings. Those are the two divisions that will ultimately decide if & when the 19b-4's & S-1's would be approved or denied.
— James Seyffart (@JSeyff) December 12, 2023
All the meetings have been with the securities regulator’s Division of Trading and Markets, and Division of Corporate Finance, which SEC Chair Gary Gensler describes as the divisions that maintain fair and efficient markets and ensure investors have enough material information to make informed decisions.