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Fidelity Investments Targets First US Spot Bitcoin ETF

Fidelity Investments, a major financial services giant overseeing approximately $4.2 Trillion in assets, has officially entered the competition to launch the first US exchange-traded fund focused on Bitcoin.

The Boston-based asset management firm recently submitted a revised application for the Wise Origin Bitcoin Trust, according to a document filed on Thursday (Friday AEST) with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

There were reports and rumors yesterday that Fidelity had filed another application, which we covered in an article here; however, now it is official.

Aligned with recent filings for US spot bitcoin ETFs, Fidelity’s updated application indicates their intention to establish a surveillance-sharing agreement with a US-based cryptocurrency exchange.

This move positions Fidelity as the latest major player from the traditional finance sector to enter the competition, following BlackRock’s significant application on June 15, which sparked interest and prompted other firms to follow suit.

Read more about BlackRock’s application for a Spot Bitcoin ETF here.

According to CoinTelegraph, similar to other spot BTC ETF applications, Fidelity’s application stated that the CME Bitcoin Futures market “represents a regulated market of significant size as it relates […] to the spot bitcoin market.” It argued the point in detail and cited extensive research to support its view. The 193-page application said:

The absence of a Spot Bitcoin ETP [exchange-traded product] poses a significant risk to U.S. investor assets. Investors who would otherwise seek crypto asset exposure through a Spot Bitcoin ETP are compelled to explore alternative, generally riskier means.

The statement further pointed out the inclusion of FTX, Celsius, BlockFi, and Voyager Digital as previous instances of riskier alternatives. It also mentioned that investors might choose to buy shares in unrelated companies like Tesla and MicroStrategy, which have substantial Bitcoin investments, as a way to indirectly gain exposure to BTC.

Bloomberg Intelligence has documented around 30 attempts to launch a spot-bitcoin product. However, regulatory obstacles have hindered these applications, with authorities expressing concerns about market stability, inadequate investor safeguards, and other related factors in the past.

As mentioned earlier, if the fiascos involving FTX, Celsius, BlockFi, and Voyager Digital are not sufficient reasons for regulatory bodies to recognize the benefits of approving ETFs for investors, it remains uncertain what will.

If approved, including Fidelity, with its $4.2 Trillion dollars under management alone, the race will intensify to secure the last of the remaining Bitcoin.

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