BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, officially filed for a spot Ether exchange-traded fund (ETF) with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Nov. 15.

The Ether (ETH) ETF, dubbed the iShares Ethereum Trust, aims to “reflect generally the performance of the price of Ether,” read the S-1 filed with the SEC. The iShares brand is associated with BlackRock’s ETF products, with its Bitcoin (BTC) ETF called the iShares Bitcoin Trust. The trust appoints Coinbase as the custodian for the underlying ETH.

The move by BlackRock comes nearly a week after it registered the iShares Ethereum Trust with Delaware’s Division of Corporations and almost six months after it filed its spot Bitcoin ETF application.

BlackRock spot Ether ETF Form S-1 filing. Source: SEC

BlackRock started the spot Bitcoin ETF rush earlier in 2023, demonstrating the growing interest of institutions in the crypto market. Within six months, it now joins the growing list of institutions filing for a spot ETH ETF.

Filing for a spot ETF is a two-step process where the ETF issuer must get SEC approval from the Trading and Markets division on its 19b-4 filing and the Corporate Finance division on its S-1 filing or prospectus.

The spot Ethereum ETF rush in 2023 began in early November when the SEC acknowledged Grayscale Investment’s application to convert its Ethereum trust into an ETF.

Many institutional giants filed for crypto spot ETFs during the last bull cycle as well, only to face rejection from the SEC, which claimed the size of the crypto market was not big enough for a spot crypto ETF.

Market pundits and ETF analysts have predicted that the chances of approval for a spot Bitcoin ETF by early 2024 are as high as 90%, while approval for the spot ETH ETF might come after that.

The institutional rush into cryptocurrency-based spot ETFs comes as the crypto market is in a recovery phase, having gained a significant chunk of lost ground from the last bear market.

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