BlockFi filed to offer a bitcoin futures exchange-traded fund (ETF) Friday, joining a race that industry experts believe could reach a crescendo in weeks.
The fund, “BlockFi Bitcoin Strategy ETF,” would only invest in futures contracts traded on the CME, according to regulatory filings. It would be registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940 (commonly referred to as the‘40 Act). Those attributes are in line with a hypothetical bitcoin ETF that SEC chair Gary Gensler has hinted may finally receive the long-sought approval.
BlockFi has virtually no chance of crossing the finish line first, however. A bevy of similar offerings are set for final verdict later this month. ETF experts believe one of these is likely to be approved, particularly after Gensler’s comments in recent weeks.
Eric Balchunas, a senior ETF analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, said he predicts one or more applications will receive an approval this month.
A BlockFi spokesperson confirmed the filing in a statement to CoinDesk.
“If approved, the actively managed fund would invest primarily in Bitcoin futures contracts registered with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and would not have direct exposure to Bitcoin. We look forward to sharing more details with the market when appropriate,” the statement added.
At least one major contender has begun preparing for Gensler’s go-ahead. Earlier this week, ETF firm VanEck secured an insurance policy for its yet-to-launch bitcoin futures ETF. The policy comes online on Oct. 26, one day after the SEC’s decision deadline.
The policy does not indicate whether VanEck’s approval will actually be approved or not.
UPDATE (Oct. 8, 2021, 18:05 UTC): Updated with additional detail.
UPDATE (Oct. 8, 2021, 18:50 UTC): Adds statement from BlockFi.