Following the smash success of BlackRock’s spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF), CEO Larry Fink has expressed optimism towards a similar fund for Ethereum. In an interview Friday, Fink stated “I see value in having an Ethereum ETF.” His comments come after BlackRock’s spot Bitcoin ETF (IBIT) garnered over $1 billion in trading volume on its first day Thursday.
BlackRock CEO Larry Fink sees value in a spot Ethereum ETF following the successful launch of the company’s Bitcoin ETF product (IBIT).
BlackRock filed for a spot Ethereum ETF in November 2022, with speculation approval could come as early as May 2023.
BlackRock’s Bitcoin ETF (IBIT) reached $1.05 billion in trading volume on its first day.
Fink said he believes asset tokenization is the future and that blockchain technology can help eliminate corruption.
Multiple major asset managers like BlackRock, Ark Invest, VanEck and Fidelity have filed for spot Ethereum ETFs.
Industry observers speculate BlackRock’s planned Ethereum ETF could gain approval as early as May. The firm filed for the fund in November 2022, likely emboldened by the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) tentative green lighting of spot Bitcoin ETFs after years of resistance.
Like its Bitcoin counterpart, BlackRock’s proposed Ethereum Trust would custody the asset at Coinbase. It seems the world’s largest asset manager is intent on being at the vanguard of bringing cryptocurrency into the mainstream investment world.
Larry Fink of @BlackRock :1) there's value in an #Ethereum ETF2) the future of finance is tokenization3) transparent ledgers and a tokenized system eliminates corruption when digital identity is added to the mix pic.twitter.com/YcNhpU3fun
— Bill Hughes : wchughes.eth ???? (@BillHughesDC) January 12, 2024
Fink emphasized his belief that tokenization of assets is the future of finance. “These are just stepping stones towards tokenization and I really do believe this is where we’re going to be going,” he commented. With blockchain enabling programmable, fractionalized ownership, Fink said the technology can “eliminate all corruption” compared to traditional systems.
Beyond BlackRock, major financial players like Fidelity, Ark Invest, VanEck and others have already submitted Ethereum ETF applications to the SEC. The first ruling deadline on an application is May 23 for Ark and 21Shares. Ensuing decisions on BlackRock and Fidelity would arrive towards mid-year.
Industry analyst Eric Balchunas puts 70% odds on the green lighting of a spot Ethereum ETF by May. Investors seem to agree, with prediction platform Polymarket showing 58% of bets expect such approval by then.
Price action also indicates the market sees big potential. While 2023 began slowly for Ethereum, anticipation around ETFs has helped catalyze a 13% gain for Ether over the last two weeks. Meanwhile, Bitcoin is up just 3.7% in the same period as attention starts to shift to the possibility for more variety in crypto investment options.
Fink explained that while Bitcoin offers a novel type of “digital gold” store of value, platforms like Ethereum expand possibilities greatly. The “programmability” of smart contract networks allows all kinds of financial assets to be represented and traded via blockchain. This unlocks a whole new realm of tokenized securities trading efficiently on-chain 24/7.
With Ethereum transitioning to vastly more energy-efficient proof-of-stake consensus and delivering scalability upgrades that reduce costs, the case for institutional investment strengthens.
Observers speculate a successful Ethereum spot ETF could usher in a new flood of mainstream capital into crypto markets. If asset tokenization via blockchain does begin disintermediating traditional finance, Ethereum looks posed to be the critical foundational infrastructure.