The cryptocurrency market reported a positive trend at the week’s end, with all major coins including Bitcoin, Ether, Solana, and Cardano, among others, registering growth. This increase in cryptocurrency prices came following the entry of the world’s biggest asset manager, BlackRock, into the race to introduce the first spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) in the United States.

Cryptocurrency Performance Details

According to the data provided by CoinMetrics, Bitcoin showed a rise of 3.75% ending the day at $26,355.04. Ether too registered a growth of 3% and was valued at $1,718.32.

Altcoins such as Solana and Cardano also rose with gains of 4.5% and 2%, respectively. Binance Coin, Litecoin, and the Uniswap token also recorded positive movements with 2.75%, 3%, and 4% respectively.

However, Bitcoin closed the week slightly negative, for the second consecutive week, by 0.21%. Ether also reported a second successive weekly decline of 10.84%.

BlackRock’s Foray into Crypto Space

The week was marked by significant development in the crypto industry’s struggle for regulatory recognition and guidance from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, filed for a spot bitcoin ETF with Coinbase as its crypto custodian, after the stock market closed on Thursday.

Gustavo Schwenkler, Associate Professor at the Leavey School of Business at Santa Clara University, commented, “One of the big purposes bitcoin serves as an asset class is really diversification. It just has a different risk profile than traditional financial markets. If this were to get approved, then I could anticipate a lot more institutional investors adding bitcoin to their investment portfolios… it would institutionalize the market in a way that is not possible right now.”

Potential First Spot Bitcoin ETF in the U.S.

If approved, the iShares Bitcoin Trust would be the first ETF in the U.S. to track the price of bitcoin, versus the futures contracts tied to the cryptocurrency. The SEC has rejected every application for a spot bitcoin ETF since the first filing about 10 years ago.

This development comes a week after the SEC sued Coinbase, BlackRock’s crypto custody partner, for violating securities laws, which has led many to question the timing of BlackRock’s application. Mark Connors, head of research at 3iQ, expressed, “That apparent commitment to Coinbase is almost as important near term as their commitment to bitcoin is in the long term. It’s a big deal.”

Details on the BlackRock Application

BlackRock’s application is for a Bitcoin spot exchange-traded fund (ETF). Coinbase Custody Trust Company would be the custodian of the fund’s Bitcoin holdings and Bank of New York Mellon would custody its fiat. The Bitcoin price would be updated at least every 15 seconds during regular market trading using the CF Benchmarks Index.

The world’s first spot-traded Bitcoin ETF was Canada’s Purpose Bitcoin ETF, set up in early 2021.