Fidelity rejoins rush to spot bitcoin ETF with fresh filing

Quick Take

  • The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission its getting fresh paperwork for a spot bitcoin ETF from asset management giant Fidelity.
  • The company joins other firms including BlackRock, WisdomTree and Invesco that have filed for similar funds. 

Asset management giant Fidelity is rejoining the mad rush for a spot bitcoin ETF, according to a Thursday filing set for U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. It follows other firms like BlackRock, WisdomTree and Invesco, which have all made similar filings in recent weeks.

19b-4 filing posted by Cboe on its website shows the new plans for the fund. Called Wise Origin Bitcoin Trust, FD Funds Management LLC is the sponsor of the Trust, while Fidelity Digital Assets Services will be responsible for custody of the trust’s bitcoin, according to the filing.

"A meaningful portion of our customers are interested in and own digital assets," a Fidelity spokesperson said in an emailed response to questions from The Block. "Fidelity remains committed to providing customers with a portfolio of solutions that offer choice, accompanied by education and support as they leverage products to meet their financial needs and objectives."

The latest filing, along with the others, will be widely watched, as the SEC has so far refrained from approving a spot bitcoin ETF. Cathie Wood’s Ark Investment and 21Shares have been trying since 2021 to register a spot bitcoin fund, while the SEC has previously rejected a proposal from Grayscale to convert its flagship GBTC fund into a spot ETF.

The latest Fidelity filing mentions a so-called surveillance sharing agreement mechanism that was a key addition to BlackRock's recent filing. 

Fidelity first filed for the Wise Origin bitcoin ETF in 2021. A separate S-1 filing from Fidelity was not immediately visible on the SEC's Edgar website.

Bitcoin surges with new ETF filings 

Bitcoin's price has surged since news of BlackRock's filing on June 15. The world's biggest crypto by market capitalization rose 2.2% on Tuesday, after The Block reported that Fidelity's filing was imminent. It's up 10% over the past month and is currently trading around $30,549, according to CoinGecko. 

The institutional interest has "pulled traders back into crypto," Oanda analyst Craig Erlam said in a note on Tuesday. The wave of filings could create "an intriguing and potentially volatile second half to the year as we await the outcome of that and the action brought against various exchanges from the SEC," Erlam added.

"Gradually, then suddenly" is a term expressed in Bitcoin circles for rapid mass adoption, and it's been a good analogy for Fidelity. The firm earlier this month joined a handful of other major financial institutions to back EDX Markets, a new cryptocurrency exchange that will offer trading in bitcoin, ether, litecoin and bitcoin cash.

Earlier this year, Fidelity Digital Assets quietly opened access to Fidelity Crypto and gave millions of users the ability to trade bitcoin and ether commission-free on the platform

The asset manager, one of the largest financial-services companies in the world, is also building out a new crypto research team.

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