Nasdaq files with SEC for Hashdex mixed ether ETF

Quick Take

  • The Nasdaq stock exchange filed with the SEC to list an Ethereum ETF from Brazilian asset manager Hashdex that wants to hold both spot ether and futures contracts. 

The Nasdaq stock exchange filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission to list an Ethereum ETF from Brazilian asset manager Hashdex that wants to hold both spot ether and futures contracts. 

Called the Hashdex Nasdaq Ethereum ETF, the fund is managed and controlled by Toroso Investments, which is registered as a commodity pool operator with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and member of the the National
Futures Association.

A focus on whether a proposed crypto ETF plans to hold futures contracts or spot funds has taken center stage in the latest wave of applications, with the SEC having approved the former, but not the later. Fund managers now seem to be pressing their luck with a middle-of-the-road option. 

The Hashdex fund's investment objective is to have its shares reflect daily changes in the price of the Nasdaq Ether Reference Price, and it plans to invest in ether, ether futures contracts listed on the CME, cash and cash equivalents.

"Instead of holding 100% spot Ether, which could make it more susceptible to price manipulation in the spot market, the Fund will hold a mix of Spot Ether, Ether Futures Contracts, and cash," Nasdaq said in the 19b-4 form.

"By holding Ether Futures Contracts and cash in addition to Spot Ether, the Fund reduces its dependence on the spot market, thereby mitigating concerns about potential manipulation in unregulated Ether spot exchanges," it continued. "Instead, the Fund will rely on Ether Futures Contracts and Ether futures EFPs that are traded on the CME Market, a regulated exchange, which provides a higher level of transparency and oversight compared to unregulated spot exchanges."

Hashdex's take on regulation

Hashdex's CEO and co-founder Marcelo Sampaio said earlier this year that his firm worked "with regulators, we don't sue them." He was referencing Grayscale Investments, which subsequently obtained a win in its lawsuit against the SEC for rejecting its plans for a spot bitcoin ETF. 

"A spot Bitcoin ETF is inevitable, we just don't know when, in what context," he said at the time. 

Last week, Ark Invest and 21Shares applied with the SEC  for a spot ether ETF, which is also being sought by VanEck. The SEC has so far delayed decisions on all filings its received for spot crypto funds.  

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