Franklin Templeton Becomes Latest Wall Street Heavyweight To File With SEC For Spot Bitcoin ETF

One of the world’s largest asset managers, Franklin Templeton, on Tuesday filed paperwork with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for a spot exchange-traded fund (ETF).

The company joins other high-profile fund managers, the likes of BlackRock, Fidelity, and others, in vying for a spot crypto ETF.

Franklin Templeton Joins Spot Bitcoin ETF Race

Franklin Templeton has become the latest traditional asset management firm to file for a spot Bitcoin ETF.

According to the Sept. 12 filing, the fund would be managed as a trust. The fund assets would consist mainly of Bitcoin held in custody by Coinbase, and Bank of New York Mellon would play the role of cash custodian and administrator.

Although Franklin Templeton has yet to propose a ticker symbol for the ETF, shares of the product would trade on the Cboe’s BZX Exchange if approved. The S-1 form notes the use of CME’s CF Bitcoin Reference Rate — New York Variant for Bitcoin pricing. 

The San Mateo-based company highlighted the risk from prevailing regulatory uncertainty in the United States in its filing:

“Digital asset markets in the U.S. exist in a state of regulatory uncertainty, and adverse legislative or regulatory developments could significantly harm the value of bitcoin or the Shares, such as by banning, restricting or imposing onerous conditions or prohibitions on the use of bitcoins, mining activity, digital wallets, the provision of services related to trading and custodying bitcoin, the operation of the Bitcoin network, or the digital asset markets generally.”

It’s worth mentioning that Franklin Templeton currently has roughly $1.5 trillion in assets under management. 

Spot ETF Decision Delays

While the crypto industry is eagerly waiting for the day a spot Bitcoin ETF hits the public markets, the SEC has made slow progress toward approval of such an investment vehicle. The regulator has repeatedly rejected all applications, citing the possibility of market manipulation among crypto traders among its concerns.

A number of hopefuls, including the world’s top asset manager, BlackRock, have filed fresh proposals for an ETF that would give everyday investors direct exposure to BTC.

Franklin Templeton’s application comes after the SEC postponed decisions on spot ETF filings from all applicants on August 31. It also follows a court decision on August 29 that the agency must reevaluate Grayscale’s application to transform its Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) into a spot ETF.

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